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Director of Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University

Professor Cristina Rocha (PhD) is an anthropologist and the Director of the Religion and Society Research Cluster, Western Sydney University, Australia. She is a former President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion (2017-2019). She co-edits the Journal of Global Buddhism and the Religion in the Americas series, Brill. She has been awarded a Senior Fellowship by the Institute for Advanced Study in Paris (2021-2022). She has been a Visiting Researcher at the University of Utrecht, Kings College and Queen Mary College, CUNY Graduate Centre, and the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Her research focuses on the intersections of globalization, migration and religion with a special focus on Brazil and Australia. Her publications include: "John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing" (Oxford University Press, 2017) awarded third place in the 2019 Geertz Prize in the anthropology of religion by the American Anthropological Association; "The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions" (with M. Vásquez, Brill, 2013), "Buddhism in Australia" (with M. Barker, Routledge, 2010), "Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity" (Hawaii University Press, 2006).


  • 2019–present
    Professor, WSU
  • 2014–present
    ARC Future Fellow, The University of Western Sydney
  • 2014–2015
    Associate professor, UWS
  • 2011–2014
    Senior lecturer, UWS
  • 2009–2010
    Lecturer B, University of Western Sydney
  • 2006–2008
    ARC Post doctoral fellow, University of Western Sydney
  • 2008–2008
    Lecturer B, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University
  • 2005–2005
    Lecturer , School of Archaeology and Anthropology, ANU


  • 2004 
    Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, PhD
  • 1996 
    University of São Paulo, Brazil, M.Phil. (by dissertation)
  • 1986 
    University of São Paulo, Brazil, BSocSc. School of Social Sciences


  • 2017
    John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing. New York: , Oxford University Press
  • 2013
    The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions (with Manuel Vasquez), Brill
  • 2013
    Transnational Pentecostal Connections: an Australian Megachurch and a Brazilian Church in Australia, Pentecostudies 12 (1): 62-82.
  • 2011
    Buddhism in Australia: Traditions in Change (with Michelle Barker), Routledge
  • 2009
    Seeking Healing Transnationally: Australians, John of God and Brazilian Spiritism, , TAJA (The Anthropology Journal of Australia), 20 (2): 229-246
  • 2009
    Global Power Relations at Play in Fieldwork: Researching Spiritism in Brazil, Fieldwork in Religion special issue Religion and Fieldwork in Latin America, 3 (2): 145-160.
  • 2008
    The Brazilians in Sydney,’ The Dictionary of Sydney,
  • 2006
    Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity, University of Hawaii Press

Grants and Contracts

  • 2019
    ARC Discovery: ‘The African Diaspora and Pentecostalism in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion
    CI (with Richard Vokes, UWA)
    Funding Source:
  • 2014
    Pentecostal Connections: Migration, Missionaries, Mobility and Media between Australia and Brazil
    Future Fellow
    Funding Source:
  • 2006
    Australian-Brazilian Connections: Mapping the Cultural Traffic in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Funding Source:

Research Areas

  • Globalisation And Culture (200206)
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology (160104)
  • Migration (160303)
  • Religion And Society (220405)


Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Paris (2021-2022). Visiting Fellow at: Utrecht University (The Netherlands), Kings College (UK); CUNY Graduate Centre (USA); Queen Mary College (UK); Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Germany); Japan Foundation Fellow (Japan)