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Dr. Judith Bachmann

Research Fellow (third party-funding)

Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology

Theologisches Seminar, Kisselgasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg

Universität Heidelberg

E-Mail: judith.bachmann@ts.uni-heidelberg.de

Web: https://rmserv.wt.uni-heidelberg.de/web/personal/judith-bachmann/


    • Since August 2023 Research Fellow (DFG project: "Ile-Ife and the Oduduwa shrine in global entanglements") at the Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Heidelberg
    • April-Sept. 2023 Interim Professor, Study of Religion, University of Münster
    • Oct. 2022-July 2023 Research Fellow, Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, "Africa Multiple" Cluster of Excellence, University of Bayreuth (https://www.bayreuth-academy.uni-bayreuth.de/en/people/Fellows-list/title-Judith-Bachmann/index.php)
    • 2017-2022 Research and Teaching Fellow at the Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Heidelberg
    • 2020 Doctoral dissertation in Religious Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, University Heidelberg
    • 2014-2017 Field Research in Ibadan, Nigeria
    • 2007-2014 Study of Theology at the University of Heidelberg, at the University of Leipzig and the University of Gloucestershire (UK)



    Articles (Peer-Reviewed):

    Articles (without Peer Review): 


    Lectures/ Papers (Invited):

    • Ifá in Comparison: African Tradition, Esotericism and Christianity in 19th Century. CAS-E Lecture, Centre for Advanced Studies Erlangen "Alternative Rationalities and Esoteric Practices from a Global Perspective", Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, June 2024, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZsIaT7t72M.
    • Heteronormative Masculinity and the Secularization of Traditional Religion: Royal Politics, Ethno-Nationalism and the Odùduwà Shrine. Workshop "Religion and Heteronationalisms in Post-secular Contexts: Actors, Motivations and Strategies", Universität Münster, June 2024.
    • The problem of matter and oral traditions in a global religious history: The example of the Ile-Ife findings in early 20th century (originally held in German). Workshop "Global Religious History: Perspectives for the Comparison of Religion," Department of Religious Studies in cooperation with the research centre Religion & Transformation in Contemporary Society, Universität Wien, July 2022.
    • A New Christianity: Native Elites Between Esotericism, Science, and African Tradition in Late 19th Century Nigeria. Guest lecture, School of Divinity, University of Cambridge, June 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD2gFNHyAZQ.
    • “The True (and Scientific) Religion”: An African Adaptation of Esotericism and Rejection of Materialism in the Colonial Encounter. Workshop "Multiple Secularities in Africa and the Diaspora," Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences "Multiple Secularities," Universität Leipzig, June 2022.
    • Esotericism – Religion – African Traditions: How Ile-Ife became the Holy City of the Yoruba (originally held in German). Online guest lecture in der lecture series "Alternative religious movements: A global perspective," Department of Religious Studies, Universität Wien, January 2022.   
    • The femininity of àjé: witchcraft suspicion and the agency of women in Nigeria (originally held in German). Online guest lecture in the lecture series "Gender and queer studies as epistemological challenge for the study of religion" organized by the Institute for mission, ecumenical and religious studies Hamburg in cooperation with the office for equal opportunities in the Department of Theology of the University of Hamburg and the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Heidelberg, April 2021.
    • Why there is no African Witchcraft History (originally held in German). AKIH Frühjahrstagung "Interdisziplinäre Ansätze in der Hexenforschung: Neue Forschungen und Projekte," Stuttgart, February 2020.
    • God's Police, God's Opponents and the Question of God's power: Witchcraft and Religious Identities in Southwestern Nigeria. Workshop of the Madina project "Studying Modalities of Co-Existence in Madina and Beyond," University of Utrecht,  April 2018.

    Lectures/ Papers (Other):

    • Freedom from Religion? Historicizing and Politicizing Oduduwa. European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR) Konferenz, University of Cork, Ireland, July 2022.
    • Ile-Ife: Holy kingdom, origin of the world, (ethno-)political center. Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft (DVRW) Conference (online), Universität Leipzig, September 2021.
    • Pentecostalism and Witchcraft in Africa: African Continuity Re-Visited. GloPent Conference "Pentecostal Strategies of Public Engagement," Universität Basel, February 2020.
    • Witchcraft and Religious Identities in Southwestern Nigeria. Paper submitted to the DVRW Conference (IAHR Special) "Konzeptualisierungen von Religion," Universität Hannover, September 2019.
    • Witchcraft in the Global History of Religion using the example of Southwestern Nigeria (originally held in German). DVRW Conference (IAHR Special) "Konzeptualisierungen von Religion," Universität Hannover, September 2019.
    • The Better "Born-Again": Identity Politics between Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Nigeria. GloPent Conference "The Future of Pentecostalism,"  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, February 2018.
    • Witchcraft between Christians and Muslims in a Township in Ibadan, Nigeria. Associazione per gli Studi Africani in Italia (ASAI) Conference "Africa in Fermento. Conflitti, Modernità, Religioni," Università degli studi di Catania, September 2016.
    • Shape-shifting of Witchcraft, Islam and Pentecostalism. GloPent Conference "Pentecostalism and Its Encounters with Other Religions," University of Uppsala, June 2016).
    • Religious Change, Conversion Narratives and the Shape-Shifting of Witchcraft. African Society for the Study of Sociology and Ethics of Religion (ASSOSER) Conference "Religion and Change," University of Ibadan, May 2016.
    • Witchcraft Concepts in West-African Pentecostal Literature. GloPent Conference "Pentecostalism and Development," University of London, September 2014.



    Research Foci:

    • Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in the Study of Religion
    • Global Religious History
    • Religion and Politics with focus on African traditional religions
    • Religious History of Nigeria
    • Witchcraft in Africa (regional focus: Nigeria)
    • Gender, Agency and Religion
    • Interreligious relations in West Africa
    • Global Christian and Muslim movements, especially Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism and Reformist Islam

    Courses Taught:

    Mission and colonialism - what remains? (Summer 2022)

    African Religion or Sociopolitical Tradition? Traditional Yoruba shrines in Nigeria (Winter 2021/22)

    Witchcraft in Africa - global entanglements and local positions among the Yoruba (Summer 2021)

    Theology of the Pentecostal movement in Africa (Winter 2020/21)

    Africa - Gender - Religion (Winter 2019/20)

    Islam in Western Africa - local identity politics, global entanglements (Summer 2019)

    Theologies in Africa (Winter 2018/19)

    Pentecostalism as global phenomenon (Summer 2018)

    Witchcraft, Magic and Traditional Healing Practices in Africa (Winter 2017/18)