Chair, Professor, Religious Studies
Current focus: collective and ritual creativity associated with social protest movements in urban Cambodia and Southeast Asia
Old Main 102
Erik Davis studies and teaches about Buddhism, ritual, and the theory of religion. He focused on funerary ritual in contemporary Cambodian society, the subject of his 2016 book Deathpower: Buddhism’s Ritual Imagination in Cambodia (Columbia University Press), and is currently working on two book projects: one is an edited volume on Buddhist temple consecration rituals, and the other is an ethnography of contemporary Cambodian past life memory.
He was president of the Thailand/Laos/Cambodia Studies group of the Association of Asian Studies (2010-2013) and has served on the Religion in Southeast Asia committee in the American Academy of Religions. He is a contributing member of the Asian Studies, Critical Theory, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies faculties.
Erik completed his undergraduate degree at Macalester College (1996), his master’s at the University of Washington in Seattle (2000), and his doctorate at the University of Chicago Divinity School (2009).