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Valentina Napolitano

Valentina Napolitano is Professor of Anthropology, a Connaught Scholar and a former Director of the Latin American Studies program at the University of Toronto. She works on Critical Catholic Studies as well as on anthropology of affects, borderlands and migration and has a particular interest in psychoanalysis, affective histories, anthropology of traces and the work of Michel de Certeau. She is the author of two ethnographic monographs: “Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: Transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church” (FUP, 2016, Finalist Geertz Prize of the Society for Anthropology of Religion) and “Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Men: Living in Urban Mexico” (UCP, 2002). She is also the co-editor (with K. Norget and M. Mayblin) of “The Anthropology of Catholicism: a Reader” (UCP, 2017), and she has authored articles and special issues also in JRAI, Material Religion, Social Anthropology, Anthropological Theory, Religion and Society. Together with Simon Coleman she is the recipient of a 2018-2020 Connaught Global Challenge Award for a project on “Entangled Worlds: Sovereignty, Sanctities and Soil” and is currently working on a new ethnographic project at the Detroit/Windsor corridor on the Catholic Church as a living infrastructure.


Immanent Singularity

This intervention invites to think active dis-imagination, in mystical and contemporary traditions, as a grounding political force.

Interdisciplinary Entanglements

Queries on enfleshment, the nature of materiality and the corporeal intertwining with histories of coloniality and race relations cannot be separated from an understanding of political theology and its mobilization.

The Rupture of Desire: An Interview with China Miéville

The following is a small portion of a longer interview with China Miéville in the journal Political Theology.

Pussy Riot and the Church

This piece is from the Political Theology Network archives originally posted on August 23, 2012.

In Memoriam:                                                                      Metropolitan John D. Zizioulas and the Journey of Theology Toward the Future

The prominent Eastern Orthodox theologian Metropolitan John D. Zizioulas of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate) passed in Athens, on February 2, 2023.


From Myanmar to Mariupol, from the streets of Memphis to the waves and winds of the Mediterranean Sea: resistance to violence takes many forms. So does political protest against precarity. At which point does the unavoidable vulnerability of the living condition come to expression as political agency? Can such precarious politics constitute or configure an alternative community?

The Powers of Powerlessness

Our modest proposal is for those of us who work in political theology to listen to the Americas and to do so, insofar as possible, ethnographically.