Professor Douglas James Davies
I am both an anthropologist and theologian with theoretical and practical interests. After an initial degree in Anthropology at Durham I engaged in my first research on Mormonism at the Oxford Institute of Social Anthropology under the supervision of the sociologist Bryan Wilson. I then read a theology degree at Durham and shortly afterwards became Lecturer at Nottingham University where I became Professor of Religious Studies before leaving for Durham in 1997. During that period I engaged in further work on Mormonism, as well as in Sikhism and Anglicanism, and in death rites. I also completed my first doctorate there on the issue of meaning and salvation. In Durham, as Professor in the Study of Religion, I help teach undergraduate modules on the Introduction to the Study of Religion, and Death, Ritual and Belief, and a module for postgraduates on Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion. Academically speaking, I also hold the degree of D.Litt. from Oxford as well as an Honorary Dr. Theol. from the University of Uppsala in Sweden. In 2009 I was made an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.
A great deal of my general work has sought to relate issues in theology and social (Anthropology and Theology, Berg, 2002). I then have several other areas of research interest. Special research in Mormonism has resulted in An Introduction to Mormonism, ( CUP. 2003) and The Mormon Culture of Salvation, (Ashgate. 2000) along with other books, chapters and encyclopaedia entries. I have also been a visiting professor at Brigham Young University in Utah. In terms of death Studies I have edited the Encyclopedia of Cremation, (with Lewis Mates: Ashgate, 2005), and also written A Brief History of Death, (Blackwell, 2004), Death, Ritual and Belief, (Revised and expanded edition, Continuum 2002). Extensive empirical research for Reusing Old Graves. (With A. Shaw. 1995) has been influential in relation to issues of burial reform in the UK. In terms of Christian church life I have, for example, joint edited ( with Helen Cameron, Philip Richter and Frances Ward) Studying Local Churches: A Handbook, ( SCM Press, 2005). My Private Passions, (Canterbury Press, 2000) was the Archbishop of Wales's Lent Book for that year. Church and Religion in Rural England. (With C. Watkins and M. Winter, 1991) involved a major study of the Church of England. Many other papers and book chapters numerous aspects of religious life including, for example, some biblical interests in, 'Purity, Spirit and Reciprocity in the Acts of the Apostles', in Anthropology and Biblical Studies, (eds) L.J.Lawrence and M.I. Aguilar, Leiden: Deo Publishing. 2004), and 'Rebounding Vitality: Resurrection and Spirit in Luke -Acts'. The Bible in Human Society. eds. M.D.Carroll, D.Clines and P. Davies. Sheffield Academic Press,1995.
Department of Archaeology
- The ‘Invisible Dead’ and the Development of Early Human Beliefs about the Body
- Death, ritual and belief
- Mormon religion
- Sociology and anthropology of religion
- Emotions and Religion
Introduction to the Study of Religion Level 1.(30 hours/year.)
- Death Ritual and Belief (Level 2 - 3) (30 hours/year.)
- Death, Sacrifice and Prayer (Level 4) (30 hours/year.)
- Ritual Symbolism and Belief MA
- Jupp, Peter C., Davies, Douglas J. Grainger, Hilary, Raeburn, Gordon & White, Stephen (2017). Cremation In Modern Scotland: History, Architecture and the Law. John Donald.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2015). Mors Britannica: Lifestyle and Death-Style in Britain Today. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Davies, Douglas & Rumble, Hannah (2012). Natural Burial: Traditional-Secular Spiritualities and Funeral Innovation. London: Continuum.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2011). Emotion, Identity, and Religion: Hope, Reciprocity, and Otherness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2010). Joseph Smith, Jesus, and Satanic Opposition: Atonement, Evil and the Mormon Vision. Farnham: Ashgate.
- Davies, D. J. (2008). The Theology of Death. London: T&T Clark.
- Davies, D. J. (2004). A Brief History of Death. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Davies, D. J. (2003). An Introduction to Mormonism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Davies, D. J. (2002). Anthropology and Theology. Oxford: Berg.
- Davies DJ (2000). The Mormon Culture of Salvation.
- Davies DJ (1997). Death Ritual and Belief The Rhetoric of Funerary Rites.
- Davies DJ & Alastair Shaw (1995). Reusing Old Graves: A Report on Popular Briitish Attitudes.
- Davies, Douglas James & Park, Chang-Won (2012). Emotion, Identity and death: Mortality Across Disciplines. Farnham: Ashgate.
- Davies, Douglas J. & Mates, Lewis H. (2005). Encyclopedia of Cremation. London: Ashgate.
- Davies, D. J., Cameron, H., Richter, P. & Ward, F. (2005). Studying Local Churches: A Handbook. London: SCM Press.
Chapter in book
- Davies, D. (Published). Ethics of Cremation and Religion. In Handbook on cremation commemorative publications for the 75th anniversary of the International Cremation Federation. Lichtner, R. Fachverlag des deautschen Bestattungsgewerbes. 55-73.
- Davies, Douglas J. (Published). Salvation, Death and Nature as Grace. In Alternative Salvations. Bacon, Hannah & Dossett, Wendy Bloomsbury Academic. 85-96.
- Davies, Douglas J (2018). Anthropology and Theology: Fugues of Thought and Action. In Theologicallyu Engaged Anthopology. Lemons, J. Derrick Oxford University Press. 194-210.
- Davies, Douglas (2018). The death turn: interdisciplinarity, mourning and material culture. In The Materiality of Mourning: Cross-disciplinary perspectives. Newby, Zahra & Toulson, Ruth E. Routledge. 245-260.
- Davies, Douglas (2015). Emotions, Grief, and Reality-Unreality in Human Mortality. In Death and Mortality: From Individual to Communal Perspectives. Hakola, Outi, Heinämaa, Sara & Phihlström, Sami Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. 10-31.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2015). Immortality. In The Role of Death in Life: A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death. Behr,John & Cunningham, Conor Cascade Books. 31-44.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2010). Geographies of the Spirit World. In The Matter of Death, Space, Place and Materiality. Hockey, Jenny., Komaromy, Carol. & Woodthorpe, Kate. Basingstoke.: Palgrave Macmillan. 208 - 222.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2009). Baptism for the dead; Cremation: Cremation Movements. In Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Condition. Bryant, Clifton & Peck, Dennis L. Los Angeles: Sage. 98 -101, 232 - 237, 237 - 241.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2009). Christ in Mormonism. In Hammer, Olav. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 170 -189.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2009). Dying in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition. In The Study of Dying. Kellehear, Alan. Cambridge.: Cambridge University Press. 233 - 252.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2009). Superplausibility in Life and Death. In Religionssociologi i brytningstider. Bremborg, Anna Davidsson et al. Lund, Sweden: Lund University. 13 - 28.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2009). Visions, Revelations and Courage in Joseph Smith. In Joseph Smith Jnr. Reappraisals after Two Centuries. Nelson, Reid L. & Givens, Terryl L. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 129 - 142.
- Davies, D. J. (2008). Cultural Intensification: A Theory for religion. In Religion and the individual: belief, practice, identity. Day, Abby Aldershot: Ashgate. 7-18.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2008). Resurrection and Immortality of the Soul. In Death our Future. Jupp, Peter C. London: Epworth. 82 - 92.
- Davies, D. J. (2007). The invention of sacred tradition: Mormonism. In The Invention of Sacred Tradition. Lewis, J. R. & Hammer, O. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 56-75.
- Davies, D. J. (2006). Inner Speech and Religious Traditions. In Theorizing Religion. Beckford, J. A. & Walliss, J. Aldershot: Ashgate. 211-223.
- Davies, D. J. (2005). Forms of Disposal. In Death and Religion in a Changing World. Garces-Foley, K. New York: M. E. Sharpe. 228-245.
- Davies, D. J. (2004). Priests, parish and people reconceiving a relationship. In Congregational studies in the UK Christianity in a post-Christian context. Guest, M., Tusting, K. & Woodhead, L. Aldershot: Ashgate. 153-168.
- Davies, D. J. (2004). Time, Place and Mormon Sense of Self. In Religion, Identity and Change. Colemand, S. & Collins, P. Aldershot: Ashgate. 107-118.
- Davies, D. J. (2001). Health morality and sacrifice the sociology of disasters. In The Blackwell companion to sociology of religion. Fenn, R. K. Oxford: Blackwell. 404-417.
- Davies DJ (1995). 'Rebounding Vitality: Resurrection and Spirit in Luke-Acts'. The Bible in Human Society (eds) M.D. Carroll, D. Clines and P. Davies. In
- Davies, Douglas J. (2020). Dividual identity in grief theories, palliative and bereavement care. Palliative Care and Social Practice 14: 1-12.
- Davies, Douglas & Thate, Michael (2017). Monstrosities: Religion, Identity and Belief. Religions 8(6): 102.
- Davies, Douglas J. (2008). Death, Immortality, and Sir James Frazer. Mortality Vol. 13.(No, 3.): 287-296.
- Davies, D. J. (2007). Mormon History, Text, Colour and Rites. Journal of Religious History 31(3): 305-315.
Available for media contact about:
- Ethics, Religion & Beliefs: Death ritual and belief
- Religion: Death ritual and belief
- Theology: Death ritual and belief
- Health & Welfare: Death ritual and belief
- Health & welfare services: Death ritual and belief
- Public policy, health and well-being: Death ritual and belief
- History & Archaeology: Death ritual and belief
- World perspectives & techniques: Death ritual and belief
- Social sciences: Death ritual and belief
- Sociology: Death ritual and belief
- Revd Paul Witts
- Ms Jennifer Susan Uzzell
- Miss Yasmin Ilkhani
- Miss Lucinda Murphy
- Revd David Tudor
- Mr Ivor Perry
- Dr David McCollough
- Mr John Wigfield
- Mr Bruce Benedict
- Ms Lena Maria Lorenz
- Revd Richard Smith
- Miss Georgina Robinson
Indicators of Esteem
- 2017: FBA: Fellow of the British Academy
- Academic Societies: President of The British Association for the Study of Religion 2009-2012
- Academy of Social Sciences: In 2009 Prof. Davies was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
- Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales:
- Honorary Degree: Prof Davies had the honorary degree of Doctor of Theology conferred upon him in 1998 by the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
- 2008: CREMATION IN SCOTLAND (£236428.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
- 2008: EMOTION, IDENTITY & RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES (£25301.00 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- 2007: GOLDERS GREEN FELLOWSHIP (£10000.00 from Golders Green Foundation)
- 2007: GOLDERS GREEN STUDENT FELLOWSHIP (£4000.00 from Golders Green Foundation)
- 2006: WAVE (£45566.00 from European Commission)
- 2004: WELFARE AND RELIGION IN A EUROPEAN (£1000.00 from Diakonivetenskapliga Institutet)
- 2003: RETRIEVING AND RE-CODING DATA FROM BASE HELD (£6188.00 from ESRC)
- 2001: THE CLERGY AND BRITISH SOCIETY 1940-2000 (£135264.00 from Arts & Humanities Research Board)
- 1997: GOLDERS GREEN FOUNDATION FUND (£47436.00 from Golders Green Foundation)
- 1997: Religious Studies Research (£2080.00 from MISC Charities)