Peter Berger

1969 –
anthropology, anthropology of religion, tribal societies
India, particularly Orissa

Curriculum vitae

1969born in Bochum (Germany) on November 14
1998MA ethnology, sociology and religious studies, Free University of Berlin.
1999-2007lecturer and research assistant, Free University of Berlin
2004PhD under the supervision of G. Pfeffer (Berlin) and F. Heidemann (Munich), Free University of Berlin
2007-presentassistant professor of Indian religions and the anthropology of religion, Groningen University

Special activities and positions

  • (Co)organizer of the Colloquium on Indian Religions, 2008-present
  • Research member of the Fürer-Haimendorf Digitization Project, (SOAS), London, 2010
  • Field work in Orissa (India)
  • Visiting professor, Department of Anthropology (Ethnologisches Seminar), University of Zürich, Febr. 2012- July 2012


Publications since 2007

2007  Füttern, Speisen und Verschlingen: Ritual und Gesellschaft im Hochland von Orissa, Indien, Berlin [etc.], 548 p. (Indus: ethnologische Südasien-Studien 11). – Orig. PhD thesis Freie Universität Berlin, 2004.
“Sacrificial food, the person and the Gadaba ritual system.” In G. Pfeffer (ed.), Periphery and centre: studies in Orissan history, religion and anthropology, New Delhi: Manohar, pp. 199-221.
Review of: Don Handelman and Galina Lindquist (eds), Ritual in its own right: exploring the dynamics of transformation, New York 2004. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 132,2: 320-324.
2008  Review of: Jan Assmann, Franz Maciejewski und Axel Michaels (Hrsg.), Der Abschied von den Toten: Trauerrituale im Kulturvergleich, Göttingen 2005. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 133: 173-174.
2009  Et al. (eds), Fieldwork: social realities in anthropological perspectives / Feldforschung: ethnologische Zugänge zu sozialen Wirklichkeiten, Berlin.
“Feldforschung – Berliner Perspektiven auf eine ethnologische Methode.” In: Ibidem, pp. 7-39.
“Assessing the relevance and effects of ‘key emotional episodes’ for the fieldwork process.” In: Ibidem, pp. 149-75.
“Conceptualizing and creating society in highland Orissa: descent, territory and sacrificial communion.” In: G. Pfeffer & D.K. Behera (eds), Contemporary society: tribal studies, vol. 8: Structure and exchange in tribal India and beyond, New Delhi, pp. 119-134.
“Do you want to see the real India? An anthropological reading of the film Slumdog Millionaire.” Orientierungen, Zeitschrift zur Kultur Asiens 21,2: 113-127.
“The inventiveness of a tradition: structural anthropology in the Netherlands from an outsider’s perspective.” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 134: 23-50.
2010  & R. Hardenberg, E. Kattner and M. Prager (eds), The anthropology of values: essays in honour of Georg Pfeffer, New Delhi: Pearson.
Et al., “Introduction: the anthropology of values.” In: Ibidem, pp. xv-xxxviii.
& R. Hardenberg, “A conversation with Georg Pfeffer.” In: Ibidem, pp. xxxix-liv.
“Assessing the relevance and effects of ‘Key Emotional Episodes’ for the fieldwork process.” In: D. Spencer and J. Davies (eds), Anthropological fieldwork: a relational process, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 119-43. – reprinted from 2009 with modifications.
“Who are you, brother and sister?: the theme of ‘own’ and ‘other’ in the Go’ter ritual of the Gadaba.” In: Ibidem, pp. 260-287.
“’Religie, interessant!’ Is Slumdog millionaire een globale film?” In: J. Kroesen, Y. Kuiper & P. Nanninga (eds), Religie en cultuur in hedendaags Nederland, Assen: Van Gorcum, pp. 90-96.
2011  “Feeding gods, feeding guests: sacrifice and hospitality among the Gadaba of highland Orissa (India).” Anthropos 106,1: 31-47.
“Food.” In: K.A. Jacobsen et al. (eds), Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism vol. 3, Leiden, pp. 68-75.
2012  “Theory and ethnography in the modern anthropology of India.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 2,2: 325-357.
“Our food: love it, or leave!” Almanac of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.
2013  & F. Heidemann (eds), The modern anthropology of India: ethnography, themes and theory, London [etc.]: Routledge.
& F. Heidemann, “Introduction: the many Indias: the whole and its parts.” In: The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, themes and theory (pp. 1-11). London, New York: Routledge.
2014  “Dimensions of indigeneity in Highland Odisha, India.” Asian Ethnology 73,1-2: 19-37.
2015  Feeding, sharing and devouring: ritual and society in Highland Odisha, India, Boston: De Gruyter (Religion and society 59).
& J. Kroesen (eds), Ultimate ambiguities: investigating death and liminality, New York: Berghahn.
“Introduction.” In: Ibidem, pp. 1-11.
“Liminal bodies, liminal food: Hindu and tribal death rituals compared.” In: Ibidem, pp. 57-77.
“Death, ritual, and effervescence.” In: Ibidem, pp. 147-183.
2016  “Good to eat, good to think and good to study: Food (and Drink) in Indian tribal societies.” Tribal Studies: a journal of COATS 4,1: 5-23.