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Dr John Fahy

Junior Research Fellow


John Fahy joined the Woolf Institute as a Junior Research Fellow in November 2015. Based in Qatar, he is part of the QRNF funded project assessing the effectiveness of interfaith initiatives in Doha, Delhi and London. This project aims to better understand how both grassroots and leader-led interfaith initiatives can be assessed in terms of effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Fahy's PhD at the University of Cambridge was in Social Anthropology. His research focused on an international community of Krishna devotees (popularly known as the 'Hare Krishnas') in Mayapur, West Bengal. Framed by the anthropology of ethics, he looked at how devotees pursue ideals of self-fashioning and world-making in the context of unprecedented urban development.

Fahy has presented his research at interdisciplinary conferences such as SIEF (Zagreb), MESA (Washington DC) and CRASSH (Cambridge). At the Division of Social Anthropology, he has supervised students in social anthropology and HSPS (Human, Social and Political Sciences). Fahy is interested in the anthropology of ethics, religion, epistemology and emotion and seeks to build on his current interests within the framework of interfaith encounters.

Publications and presentations

2017. "Learning to Love Krishna: A Living Theology of Moral Emotions". Ethnos.

2017. "Failing Well: Accommodating Vices in an Ideal Vedic City". HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.

2017. "The Field of Interfaith in the Middle East". Paper presented at the 'Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions' conference at the London School of Economics.

2017. "International Relations and Faith-based Diplomacy: The Case of Qatar". Paper presented at the annual Gulf Research Meeting at the University of Cambridge.

2017. "The Globalisation of Values and the Appropriation of Tolerance in the Arabian Gulf". Paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Washington DC.

Under review. "Managing Religious Diversity in the 'other Wahhabi state'". Journal of Arabian Studies.

Under review. "Vedic Culture and Sexy Pants". International Journal of Hindu Studies.

2016. "Theology, Ethics and Community". Paper presented at 'Worldwide Krishna Movement' conference at Harvard University.

2015. "You have inherited the kingdom of God, now develop it"; Imagining an Ideal Vedic City in Contemporary India. Paper presented at 'Leadership, Authority and Legitimation in South Asia' conference at CRASSH, Cambridge.

2015. '(Story)telling the Past in an Ideal Vedic City'. Paper presented at the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) conference, Zagreb.

2015. 'Devotional Ethics and Community in Mayapur'. Paper presented at ISKCON Studies conference, Radhadesh, Belgium.

2014. 'Between Heaven and a Hard Place: Inhabiting the Space Between an Enchanted Past and an Ideal Future'. The Unfamiliar 4 (1): 6-14.

2014. 'How to Build a Vedic City in Contemporary India'. Paper presented at King's Graduate Lunchtime Seminar Series.

2014. 'Creating Culture'. Paper presented at 'Moving People, Changing Culture' conference (supported by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Science) at Cardiff University.

2012. 'Smelly Music: Emotion and Belief in the Hare Krishna Temple'. Paper presented at the Department of Social Anthropology, Queen's University, Belfast.

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