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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

EDUCATION

2020 (Fall) – Present       Ph.D. Candidate, Social and Cultural Anthropology

University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Focus: Anthropology of ritual, ethics, indigenous religion.
  • Preliminary title: “Becoming through plants: ayahuasca rituals and ethical self-making among the indigenous peoples of northeastern Peru”. Supervisors: Toomas Gross and Anni Kajanus.
  • Selected coursework: Ph.D. seminar, ethnographic methods, research ethics.

 

2017 – 2018                   Master of Arts in Sociology and Social Anthropology

                                    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

  • Focus: Religious Studies, data analysis, podcasting.
  • Graduation (with merit), with the MA thesis “(Not) the fate of our fathers: a social and cognitive approximation to the changing religious landscape in Peru among young adults”. Supervisor: Vlad Naumescu.
  • Selected coursework: Academic writing, qualitative and quantitative methods, podcast production.

 

2010 – 2014                   Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, major in Anthropology

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru

  • Focus: Ethnography, social theory, qualitative methods.
  • Selected coursework: Ethnographic knowledge, advanced anthropological theory, methodology workshop.
  • Top fifth of the class.

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

                                    Primarily interested in the intersection of Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology of Religion, specifically: Cognitive Science of Religion, human cognitive universals, cross-cultural research. Topics: Youth and religion, new religious movements, western esotericism, religion and conflict (pentecostalism and politics, radicalized movements), ritual and religion, indigenous religions, secular identities.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2015 – Present               Associate Editor – The Religious Studies Project

                                    Remote position, United Kingdom

  • Produce academic content on the study of religion in the form of podcasts (15), written contributions, and conference reports (4).
  • Connect with scholars from Spanish-speaking countries (especially from Latin America), and Central and Eastern Europe for podcast interviews.

 

2019 – 2021                   Internship – Central European University

                                    Center for Religious Studies, (previously) Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Budapest, Hungary.

  • Liaison between The Religious Studies Project and CEU’s Center for Religious Studies for mutual institutional promotion.
  • Support academic events and conferences through promotion on social media and writing of conference reports.
  • Publication of podcast interviews in the CEU Podcast Library.

 

2015 – 2019                   Research Assistant – Åbo Akademi University & Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

                                    Lima, Peru / Turku, Finland

  • Collaborated with scholars of religion across the globe within an interdisciplinary approach on the research project “Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective”.
  • Gathered data through paper and e-surveys using the Portrait Value Questionnaire (200), Faith Q-Sort (23), and structured interviews (23) using Q-methodology.
  • Transcribed gathered data and translated research resources (English-Spanish).
  • Coordinated and presented at workshops and seminars of the project.
  • Compiled the final Faith Q-Sort and interview dataset of all 12-country samples (565).
  • Published three co-authored articles in specialized peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes.

 

2014 – 2015                   Research Assistant – Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

                                    Department of Philosophy, Education and Human Sciences. Lima, Perú

  • Designed the project “The loss of belief? An exploratory study of the conversion to atheism in Lima” and the research instruments.
  • Conducted fieldwork; gathered data through surveys (40), and in-depth interviews (15).
  • Produced the academic debate “Can the existence of God be proved?” on the Youtube channel “La Manzana Prohibida” (The Forbidden Apple).
  • Published one co-authored article in a specialized peer-reviewed journal.

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2020                             Lecturer – Centro de Estudios Humanos y Ontológicos

                                    Online Diploma Course in History and Anthropology of Religions: “Anthropology and Religion”, and, “Ethnography and Religion, Introduction to Fieldwork”.

  • Teaching of two lectures with grading.

 

2015                             Teaching Assistant – Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya

                                    Course: “Philosophy of Religion”. Department of Philosophy, Education and Human Sciences.

  • Teaching of six lectures with grading.

 

2013 - 2014                   Teaching Assistant – Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Faculty of Social Sciences

Courses: “Ethnographic Knowledge”, “Kinship and Social Organization”, “Symbolism and Ritual”. Professional Department of Anthropology.

  • Teaching of eight lectures for each course with grading.

 

Teaching in workshops

2014 - 2016                   Lecturer – Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Faculty of Social Sciences   

“Workshop of Q-Methodology”, “Workshop of Cognitive Anthropology: Towards an Understanding of Human Singularity”, “To Do for Believing: Introduction to the Analysis of Symbolism and Ritual”.

  • Teaching of three, five, and seven lectures in each workshop respectively.

 

ORGANIZATION OF ACADEMIC EVENTS (selected)      

2022                             Panel: “Ritual practices through the Americas: symbolism, mythology and tradition”. Upcoming 57° International Congress of Americanists. Dates TBD, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Iguassu Falls, Brazil.

                                    https://ica2021.unicentro.br/en/thematic-axes/

2018                             Panel: “Contemporary urban religious expressions in Latin America. Changes and continuities”. 56° International Congress of Americanists. 15-20 July, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

                                    http://ica2018.es/world-views-and-religious-studies/

2018                             Panel: “Between religion and religiosity: experiences and changes from the perspective of the native peoples of the Americas”. XVII Latin American Congress of Religion and Ethnicity. 9-13 July, CEIP Magdalena de Ulloa, Toro (Zamora), Spain.

                                    http://www.alereligiones.com.mx/Congresos/CongInter/Toro2018/Toro2018.htm

2017                             Panel: “What is America from a religious perspective?” First International Congress of the Chilean Society for the Sciences of Religions. 23-26 May, University Andres Bello, Concepción, Chile.

2017                             Scientific committee at the IX National Congress of Religious Education and I Latin American Congress of Education and Science(s) of Religion(s). 19-21 October, Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.

                                    https://doity.com.br/ixconere/blog/programacao

2016                             “Religions examined by the Social Sciences and History”. September, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

2015                             “Centenary of Religious Freedom in Peru”. 24 November, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

2015                             “Religion in Peru: research itineraries from the Social Sciences”. 24 September, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

ACADEMIC AWARDS / GRANTS

2021                             Travel grant from the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki, to carry out ethnographic field work in Peru for doctoral research (2022-2023).

2021 - Present               Research funding for doctoral research granted through the “Religion, self, and ethical life” research group, unit of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki. Project led by Toomas Gross and Timo Kaartinen. Funded by Kone Foundation and the Academy of Finland.

2020                             Travel grant from the British Association for the Study of Religions for presenting two papers at the 22nd Quinquennial World Congress of the IAHR. Canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019                             Travel grant from the European Association for the Study of Religion for the 17th Annual EASR conference.

2017                             CEU Master’s Scholarship for the MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University.

MEMBERSHIPS

2021 - Present               Member – Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America.

 

2020 - Present               Member – British Association for the Study of Religions.

 

2016 – Present               Collaborating Partner – Chilean Society of the Sciences of Religions.

 

VOLUNTARY WORK EXPERIENCE

2014                             COP20 – Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest

  • Translator for the Indigenous Pavilion of the COP20. 2-12 December, Lima, Peru.

 

PERSONAL SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

Computer skills            Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Zotero, Prezi, Audacity, SPSS, ATLAS.ti, PQ method.

Language skills             Spanish – Native (C2).

                                    English – Fluent (C2). TOEFL iBT score 104/120 (14/01/2017).

                                    French – Basic (A2).

                                    Italian – Basic (A2).

 

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS

Edited Volumes

Sztajer, S., Kwaku Golo, B., Fernández Hart, R. & Castillo, S. (2021). “The cognitive study of religiosity and contemporary lived religion. Complementarity as a methodological approach” (in review)”. In P. Nynäs, Illman, R., Novis-Deutsch, N. & Fernández Hart, R. (Eds.), Sensitizing “religious” variety in a global perspective: Between universalism and particularism. Equinox Publishing. Series: The Study of Religion in a Global Context.

Briones, B. & Castillo, S. (Eds.), (2020). Religiosidad popular contemporánea: Perspectivas americanistas (Contemporary popular religiosity: Americanists perspectives). Concepción: Sociedad Chilena de Ciencias de las Religiones.

            https://tinyurl.com/y3myn93b

Fernández Hart, R., Castillo, S. & Moberg. M. (2020). “The internet, social media, and the critical interrogation of traditional religion among young adults in Peru”. In M. Moberg, S. Sjö, M. Lövheim, et al. (Eds.), Digital media, young adults, and religion - An international perspective. Routledge. Series: Routledge Studies in Religion and Digital Culture, pp. 55-68.

https://tinyurl.com/y5qfe96t

 

Peer-reviewed Journals

Sjö, S., Kwaku Golo, B., Erdiş Gökçe, H., Fernández Hart, R., Castillo, S., Benyah, F. & Villacrez, M. (2019). “From socialization to self-socialization? Exploring the role of digital media in the religious lives of young adults in Ghana, Turkey, and Peru”. In Klingenberg, M., et al. (Guest eds.), Religion, Thematic Issue on Rethinking Religious Socialization – A Transnational Perspective, 49(2), pp. 240-261.

https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2019.1584353

Fernández Hart, R. & Castillo, S. (2017). “El fenómeno de la secularización: Una investigación filosófica desde la realidad peruana (The phenomenon of secularization: A philosophical and empirical research from the Peruvian reality)”. Miscelánea. Revista de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, 75(147), pp. 261-292.

https://tinyurl.com/y3e9qvlw

 

The Religious Studies Project Podcast Series

Castillo, S. “South American Austral Religions in an Ethnohistorical Comparative Perspective”. Podcast interview with Boris Briones. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 20 June 2021.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/south-american-austral-religions-in-an-ethnohistorical-comparative-perspective/

Castillo, S., Connolly-Panagopoulus, M., Gorman Jr., D. (2021). “The New Satanic Panic and the Return of Blasphemy | Discourse! April 2021”. Hosted by Daniel Gorman Jr. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 2 May 2021.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/the-new-satanic-panic-and-the-return-of-blasphemy-discourse-april-2021/

Mixon, C., Gorman Jr., D., Fallon, B., Castillo, S., Coleman III, T., McConeghy, D., Cusack, C., McCutcheon, R., Robertson, D. & Cotter, C. (2021). “Thanks for listening! Celebrating 10 years of the RSP”. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 15 January 2021.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/thanks-for-listening/

Alexander, A., Goodwin, M., Radford, R., O'Donnell, J., Castillo, S., Goldenberg, N., Hjelm, T., McCutcheon, R., Robertson, D. & Cotter, C. (2020). “The Weakest Link – MidYear Special 2020 (with video)”. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 23 December 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/the-weakest-link-midyear-special-2020/

Castillo, S. (2020). “Politics, Kabbalah, and Beyond: Jewish Studies and the Study of Religion”. Podcast interview with Carsten Wilke. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 30 November 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/politics-kabbalah-and-beyond-jewish-studies-and-the-study-of-religion/

Castillo, S. (2020). “Ancient Christian origins”. Podcast interview with William Arnal. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 20 October 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/ancient-christian-origins-a-heterogeneous-history/

Castillo, S., Butendieck, S., Nita, M. & Rubio, J. (2020). “Religious festivals during COVID-19: Discourse! September 2020”. Hosted by Sidney Castillo. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 7 October 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/religious-festivals-during-covid-19-discourse-september-2020/

Castillo, S. (2020). “Narrating belief: Vernacular religion in India”. Podcast interview with Ülo Valk. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 4 March 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/vernacular-religion-in-northeast-india-the-many-faces-of-epistemological-uncertainty/

Fallon, B., Castillo, S. & Lawson, S. (2020). “Discourse! February 2020 with Sierra Lawson and Sidney Castillo”. Hosted by Breann Fallon. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 12 February 2020.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/discourse-february-2020-with-sierra-lawson-and-sidney-castillo/

Castillo, S. (2019). “Unbelief as a nuanced phenomenon: The sociality of nonreligion across Europe”. Podcast interview with David Herbert and Josh Bullock. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 5 December 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/unbelief-as-a-nuanced-phenomenon-the-sociality-of-nonreligion-across-europe/

Castillo, S. (2019). “Doctors and stigmatics in the 19th and 20th centuries”. Podcast interview with Gábor Klaniczay. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 19 November 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/doctors-and-stigmatics-in-the-19th-and-20th-centuries/

Castillo, S. (2019). “The secularization of discourse in contemporary Latin American neoconservatism”. Podcast interview with Jerry Espinoza Rivera. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 31 October 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/the-secularization-of-discourse-in-contemporary-latin-american-neoconservatism/

Castillo, S. (2019). “ When archive meets A.I. – Computational humanities research on a Danish secular saint”. Podcast interview with Katrine Frøkjær Baunvig. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 30 October 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/when-archive-meets-a-i-computational-humanities-research-on-a-danish-secular-saint/

Castillo, S. (2019).  “Natural selection in the evolution of religion”. Podcast interview with Armin Geertz. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 24 September 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/natural-selection-in-the-evolution-of-religion/

Castillo, S. (2019). “Philology and the comparative study of myths”. Podcast interview with Paola Corrente. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 13 December 2019.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/philology-and-the-comparative-study-of-myths/

Castillo, S. (2017). “Politics of this world: protestant, evangelical, and pentecostal movements in Peru”. Podcast interview with Juan Fonseca Ariza. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 18 May 2018.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/politics-of-this-world-protestant-evangelical-and-pentecostal-movements-in-the-peru/

Castillo, S. (2017). “South American church-state relations”. Podcast interview with Marco Huaco Palomino. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 13 March 2018.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/south-american-church-state-relations/

Castillo, S. (2017). “Study of religion in Peru”. Podcast interview with Dorothea Ortmann. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 6 February 2018.

https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/study-of-religion-in-peru/

Castillo, S. (2016). “Nature Alive: Amazonian Religion in Peru”. Podcast interview with James Regan Mainville. In The Religious Studies Project.

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/nature-alive-amazonian-religion-in-peru/

Castillo, S. (2015). “Of demons, saints and heaven: Andean religious beliefs in Peru”. Podcast interview with Luis Millones. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 16 October 2018.

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/of-demons-saints-and-heaven-andean-religious-beliefs-in-peru/

Castillo, S. (2015). “Religion in Peru – Conference report, 2015”. In The Religious Studies Project. Last viewed: 15 October 2018.

http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2015/11/12/religion-in-peru-conference-report-2015/

 

 

 

PRESENTATIONS (selected)

Castillo, S. (2021). “(Not) the Faith of Our Fathers: the Role of Credibility Enhancing Displays in the Shaping of Religious and Secular Worldviews Among Peruvian Young Adults”.Youth, Religion and Globalization. 8-9 October, Institut Universitaire de France & Concordia University, Paris, France.

            https://yrg2021.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/5

Castillo, S. (2021). “Beyond mysticism and instrumentalization: arguments for a decolonization of ayahuasca”. Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) XIII Biennial Conference. 21-25 June, June 28-July 2, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.

            https://www.salsa-tipiti.org/es/conferences/salsa-2021/salsa-xiii-biennial-conference-panels-and-workshops/

Castillo, S. (2021). “Beyond mysticism and instrumentalization: arguments for a decolonization of ayahuasca”. “Religion, Self and Ethical LifeResearch Group Workshop. 24 May, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Castillo, S. (2020). “At resistance against the world: Identity formation in the World Mission Society Church of God”. Resistance, Order, and Authority in Religion. Religious Studies Doctoral Conference. 15-17 October, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

            https://religion.ceu.edu/crs-elte-muni-phd-conference-ROAR-2020

Castillo, S. (2020). “La ubicuidad del evangelismo cristiano en la esfera pública: Apuntes antropológicos desde el caso del Movimiento Misionero Mundial (The ubiquity of evangelical christianity in the public sphere: Anthropological notes on the case of the Movimiento Misionero Mundial)”. First Digital Congress of the Sciences of Religions. 18-20 May, Chilean Society of the Sciences of Religions.

http://www.facebook.com/cienciasdelasreligiones/videos/2745892735538302

Castillo, S. (2019). “Of Learning and Learning to Un-learn Religion: The Role of Credibility Enhancing Displays in the Shaping of Religious and Secular Worldviews among Peruvian Young Adults”. 17th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR). 25-29 June, University of Tartu, Estonia.

Castillo, S. (2018). “(Not) the faith of our fathers: Change and cognition in the formation of religious subjectivities among university students of Peru”. XVII Latin American Congress of Religion and Ethnicity. 9-13 July, CEIP Magdalena de Ulloa, Toro (Zamora), Spain.

http://www.alereligiones.com.mx/Congresos/CongInter/Toro2018/Toro2018.htm

Castillo, S. (2017). “Institutional presentation: The Religious Studies Project”. First International Congress of the Chilean Society for the Sciences of Religions. 23-26 May, Universidad Andrés Bello, Concepción, Chile.

Castillo, S. (2016). “History of anthropology in San Marcos”. Roundtable discussion on the 70th anniversary of the Professional Department of Anthropology. 4 May, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

IN THE MEDIA

2021                             “¿Cómo nos relacionamos con la muerte en tiempos de pandemia? (How do we relate with death in times of pandemic)” IDL-Reporteros. Written by Aldo Pecho.

                                    https://www.idl.org.pe/como-nos-relacionamos-con-la-muerte-en-tiempos-de-pandemia/

2021                             “Ex-Nihilo IV Session”. Interviewed by Tancredi Marrone and Andrej Kapcar of the Research Association for the Study of Western Esotericism (RASWE).

                                    https://fb.watch/73xHcAzOBd/

2020                             “Presentación de libro «Religiosidad popular contemporánea. Perspectivas Americanistas» (Contemporary popular religiosity: Americanists perspectives)”.

                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3HLoDesj9Y

Fields of Science

  • 5143 Social and cultural anthropology
  • Religion
  • Rituals
  • Ethics
  • Indigenous religions and ontologies