Dr Tom Boylston specialises in ritual, media, and social transformation in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. He is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow whose current research project, entitled Orthodox Reformation in Ethiopia: Hierarchy, Media, and the New Politics of Religion, investigates religious renewal and claims on public space in Addis Ababa. His main research interests are the anthropology of religion, media, technology, individualism, and discourses of modernity.
He received his PhD from the LSE in 2012, for the thesis The Shade of the Divine: Approaching the Sacred in an Ethiopian Orthodox Community. Based on 18 months’ fieldwork in 2008-09, the thesis is an in-depth study of popular Orthodox practice and religious mediation around a small market village in the Ethiopian Orthodox heartlands. Major topics of discussion include ritual and faith, purity and the regulation of food and sex, and the importance of material substance and the lived environment in religious practice.
His PhD thesis can be found here: