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ARC Australian Spirituality Research Team

Associate Professor Anna Halafoff

Anna Halafoff is Associate Professor in Sociology of Religion in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Australia. She is also a member of the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS) Consortium, and AVERT (Addressing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation to Terrorism) Research Network. She is a Chief Investigator on three Australian Research Council Discovery Projects on Australian Spirituality, the Worldviews of Generation Z Australians and on Religious Diversity in Australia. Her other research interests include interreligious relations, religion and education, preventing violent extremism, and Buddhism in Australia. Anna is the author of The Multifaith Movement: Global Risks and Cosmopolitan Solutions, and co-author (with A. Singleton, M.L. Rasmussen, and G. Bouma) of Freedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and Diversity

Dr Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson Yunkaporta is an Aboriginal scholar, member of the Apalech clan in far north Queensland and founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab and Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He is the author of Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Change the World (Text Publishing 2019) and his work focuses on applying Indigenous methods of inquiry to resolve complex issues and explore global crises. He also writes on Aboriginal Pedagogy in relation to integrity in academic and cultural practice. Tyson is also an arts critic, poet, and traditional wood carver. He hosts a podcast called The Other Others, on which he yarns with guests about how Indigenous knowledge can solve the world’s problems.

Professor Cristina Rocha

Cristina Rocha is Professor of anthropology and the Director of the Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University, Australia. She was a fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (2021-2022), and President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion (2018-2019). She co-edits the Journal of Global Buddhism and the Religion in the Americas Brill series. Her research focuses on the intersections of globalisation, (im)mobilities and religion. Her publications include: Cool Christianity: Hillsong and the Fashioning of Cosmopolitan Identities (OUP forthcoming), Australian Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements: Arguments from the Margins (with M. Hutchinson and K. Openshaw, Brill 2020);  John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing (Oxford University Press 2017), Honourable Mention 2019 Geertz Prize (AAA); The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions (with M. Vásquez, Brill 2013); Buddhism in Australia (with M. Barker, Routledge 2010); Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity (Hawaii University Press 2006).

Professor Andrew Singleton

Andrew Singleton is Professor of Sociology and Social Research in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin. His research interests include spirituality, youth religion, new religious movements (including Spiritualism), global Christianity, secularisation, non-religion, religious change, religious movements in the Global South. Andrew has presented and published extensively in these areas both nationally and internationally. He is author of three books: Freedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality and Diversity (with A. Halafoff, M.L. Rasmussen & G.D. Bouma, Bloomsbury 2021); Religion, Culture and Society: A Global Approach (Sage 2014) and The Spirit of Generation Y: Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia (with M. Mason & R. Webber, Garrett Publications 2007). 

Professor Paul Bramadat

Paul Bramadat is Professor at the University of Victoria and Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society. His academic interests include religion and public discourse, public health, and public safety. His most recent co-edited books were Religion at the Edge: Nature, Spirituality and Secularity in the Pacific Northwest (UBC 2022); and Urban Religious Events: Public Spirituality in Contested Spaces (Bloomsbury 2022). His current research is in postural yoga in contemporary Canada and the United States. 

Associate Professor Mar Griera

Mar Griera is Full Professor of Sociology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She is also the director of the ISOR research centre. During her academic career, she has been visiting fellow at Boston University (2009), Universiteit Van Amsterdam (2008), Exeter University (2006), Université de Lausanne (2016), and l’École Pratique des Hautes Études (2022).  Her research expertise lies at the intersection of religion, spirituality, politics and heritage regimes in contemporary Europe. She has coordinated several competitive projects in this area, has edited five high-quality journal special issues, published several books (edited and monographs) and authored and co-authored a high number of articles. She is currently the vice-president of the RC22 committee on Sociology of Religion of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and member of the Board of the IESR (Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions– Paris). She is also member of the board of the Centre for Conflict, Religion and Globalizatoin (Groningen University), and member of the advisory board of several journals in the field. Her expertise on religious diversity, religious discrimination and interreligious relations have been highly considered by public administrations that often have invited her to to advise policymakers in these topics, to participate in consultative boards and to talk in public events 

Professor Lori Beaman

Lori G. Beaman, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., is the Canada Research Chair in Religious Diversity and Social Change, Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, and the Director and Principal Investigator of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project. Recent publications include “Towards Equality: Including Non-Human Animals in Studies of Lived Religion and Nonreligion,” (with L. Strumos) Social Compass 70 no. 2 (June 2023); The Transition of Religion to Culture in Law and Public Discourse (Routledge 2020); and Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity (Oxford University Press 2017). 

Senior Fellow Researcher Joshua Waters

Joshua Waters is a First Nations K/Gamilaroi man and current PhD student and Senior Research Fellow with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. Joshua’s current research examines the notion of First Nations Spiritualities in institutional settings and across mainstream ethics application processes in Australian universities. He is also a core member of the Deakin University Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Lab and a Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Collective (IKSC) where he supports a number of regional, national and international partnerships and research projects aimed at utilising Indigenous knowledges for global systems change.

Dr Rosie Clare Shorter

Rosie Clare Shorter (she/her) is a feminist researcher interested in gender, sexuality, religion and posthumanism. She recently completed her PhD at Western Sydney University, in the Religion and Society Research Cluster. She currently teaches a variety of undergrad subjects including sociology, religious studies, and gender studies at Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. She is co-convenor for the The Australian Sociological Association Sociology of Religion thematic group and Executive Officer for the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. She is an avid reader of Sara Ahmed, a persistent reader of Rosi Braidotti, and a recent ‘convert’ to feminist trauma theologies and critical menstruation studies.  

Dr Ruth Fitzpatrick

Ruth Fitzpatrick is a sociologist specialising in contemporary iterations and influences on/of religion, spirituality and contemplative traditions. She has served as a Research Fellow on ARC and other grants relating to religion, spirituality and contemplative traditions and their relationship to Gen Zers, death and dying, conspiracy movements, religious diversity, and education. Her earlier research explored how cultural narratives shape what Australian Buddhists conceive Buddhist social engagement to be. She is currently interested in how contemplative practices and traditions are (mis)/applied in response to contemporary challenges and crises; and how spirituality can be used as a means of healing or harming. 

Dr Ashleigh Haw

Ashleigh’s research focuses on discursive constructions of marginalised populations in Australian media, political and public discourse, with a particular interest in the implications for democracy, health, social cohesion, and social policy. She is currently involved in research projects investigating both traditional news and social media depictions of African youth in Australia, digital communication surrounding ethnic and religious minority communities during COVID-19, and the health, social and democratic implications of online disinformation during global crises. Ashleigh is a convener of The Australian Sociological Association’s Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism thematic group and Communications Coordinator for the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association whereby she is an active member of the Political Communication research stream.

Samantha Hauw

Samantha Hauw is a PhD student at Deakin University, supervised by Associate Professor Anna Halafoff and Professor Andrew Singleton. She explores ecstatic dance, spirituality and relational being. She tutors undergraduates in the sociology of religion and is a research assistant on the Australian Spirituality: Wellbeing and Risks ARC Project.