Dr. Maria Nita
Dr. Maria Nita BA, MA, PGCE, PhD
In my role as a tutor on the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology I contribute to the planning and delivery of seminars and tutorials and offer supervision to dissertation students.
I have a BA (Licentiate in Philology) from Ovidius University, MA with Distinction in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University, PGCE (with Qualified Teacher Status) from Bath Spa University. My PhD (2013) was awarded by the Open University ‘Faith in Transition: Christian and Muslim Activists Involved in the Climate Movement’
I am passionate about anthropological and ethnographic approaches to the study of religion and I have a diverse experience of teaching Religious Studies in higher educational environments. Prior to my current appointment at the University of Wales Trinity St David, I worked as an associate lecturer in Religious Studies at Oxford Brookes University. I also worked as a part time lecturer at Bath Spa University, until June 2014 and I taught New Religious Movements at the University of Gloucestershire. Presently I am also an associate lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of South Wales.
British Association for the Study of Religion
My teaching has revolved around some key areas in the study of religion, which have included historical, theological and ethnographic approaches in the study of Christianity, Islam and New Religious Movements. In my present role I contribute to three postgraduate modules: Researching Contemporary Cosmologies, Astral Religion and Sky and Psyche.
List of previous modules taught:
2016 -2017 University of South Wales
- Religions of the Middle East (level 4)
- Ethics (level 4)
- Christianity and Islam in the Contemporary World (level 5)
2015 – 2016 Oxford Brookes University
- Essentials of the Study of Religions: Religious Festivals (level 5)
- Religions in Social Context (New Age and New Religious Movements) – (level 6)
- Religions in Social Context (Buddhism and Social Theory) – (level 6)
- Research Methods – (level 5)
2014 – 2015 Oxford Brookes University
- Academic Literacy for Theology and Religious Studies (level 4)
- Essentials of the Study of Religions: Religious Festivals (level 5)
- Essentials of the Study of Religions: Islam and the West (level 5)
2014 University of Gloucestershire
- Introduction to New Religious Movements
2013 – 2014 Bath Spa University
- Exploring Global Christianity
- Spirituality and Civilization in a Global Perspective (Christianity)
2012 – 2013 Weston College (Sixth Form College)
- Religious Studies: Christian Ethics
- Philosophy of Religion
My research has been centred on contemporary spirituality and particularly green Christian spirituality. My book titled ‘Praying and Campaigning with Environmental Christians: Green Religion and the Climate Movement’, based on my own ethnographic research, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. I am also presently involved in a research project at the University of South Wales, where I contribute to research into the Glastonbury Festival conducted by colleagues in the History department. Other research interests include: the Greenbelt festival, celestial spirituality, funeral practices in diasporic communities and religious identity.
- Praying and Campaigning with Environmental Christians: Green Religion and the Climate Movement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chapters in books:
2017. ‘An Altar inside a Circle: Climate Activists and Green Christians Ritualising Place and Planet’ in Material Religion, edited by Hutchings, T. and J. McKenzie, London: Ashgate.
2014. ‘Christian and Muslim Climate Activists Fasting and Praying for the Planet: Emotional Translation of “Dark Green” Activism and Green-Faith Identities’ in How the World’s Religions are Responding to Climate Change Social Scientific Investigation, edited by Globus-Veldman R., Szasz A. and R. Haluza-DeLay, New York: Routledge.
2015. ‘Book Review: The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements’. Chryssides, G. D and Zeller B. E. (eds.) in Fieldwork in Religion, vol.9 no. 1, pp. 103-105.
2015. ‘Series Review: The Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements’. Barker, Eileen (series ed.) in Fieldwork in Religion, vol.9 no. 2, pp. 224-228.
2011. ‘Occupy Religion’, in Open Learn, Open University [online] http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/religious-studies/religion-occupied, November 2011
2009. ‘Creation Spirituality’ in Encyclopaedia of The Bible and its Reception, edited by McGinn, Bernard New York and Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009.
‘The Mount, the Grove and the G Tent: Green Christians Recreating Sacred Space’, Equal Platforms Symposium, University of Gloucestershire, April 2017.
'Christian Festivals and the Arts and Performance Festival Model: Countercultural Experiments and the Reimagining of the Early Church', Festivals, Performing Arts and the Sacred Symposium, The University of South Wales, November 2016.
‘Christians in the Field, from Glastonbury to Greenbelt: Sacred Alternatives of the British Festival Culture’, The Annual Conference of the British Association for the Study of Religion, The University of Wolverhampton, September 2016.
‘Trees and relational identity: green identity as a cross-cultural identity and processes of identity formation among Christian and Muslim climate activists’, Identity and Difference Global Philosophy Colloquium, Bath Spa University, Newton Park, April 2016
‘Praying and Witnessing for the Earth: Developments in Green Christian Organisations’, Bath Spa Early Career Researchers Annual Conference, Bath Spa University, Corsham, June 2015
‘Moving Mountains: Rituals in Environmental Networks’, Spiritual Exercises: The Joint Postgraduate Conference on Religion and Theology, Bristol University, Bristol, March 2014
'Protest Suicide in Religious Networks: Agency, Performing Contention and Imagined Communities’, Contemporary Writing Seminar Centre, Bath Spa University, Corsham, November 2013
‘“The Flying Man” and “The Little Wax Man”: Celestial Longing and Earthly Empowerment in Romanian Love Magic and Romantic Poetry’, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Sophia Centre Conference, June 2013.
‘Prayers for the Earth: Ritualised Protest and Identity Construction in the Climate and Transition Movements’, Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective: Engaging Outside Academia, The Open University, Milton Keynes, May 2013.
‘Centring Identity and Cultural Commuting between a Collective Green Identity and ‘Faith Identities: Christian and Muslim Activists in the Climate Movement’, The Annual Conference of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion, Groningen University, the Netherlands, October 2012.
‘The Climate Movement and its Boundaries’, The Annual Conference of the British Association for the Study of Religion, Winchester University, September 2012.
‘Power for the Planet: Narratives of Empowerment in the Climate Movement’, Cultural Crossings Seminar Series, The Open University, Milton Keynes, February 2011.
‘The Climate Movement from a New Religious Movements’ Perspective’, British Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, September 2010
‘Churches in Transition: Christians in the Transition Towns Movement', British Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, University of Bangor, September 2009.
‘Spirituality on Transition: The Eco-Spirituality of the Climate Change Campaign’, Religion and Ecology in the Public Sphere Conference, Abo Akademi, Turku, Finland, May 2009.
'The Planet as Heritage: Planet Earth in Ecological and Religious Discourse', Heritage Studies Research Group Seminar Series, The Open University, Milton Keynes, April 2009.
'Ritual and Performance in Eco Activism', New Expressions of Spirituality Conference and Workshop, Szeged, Hungary, November 2008.
‘Ecotheology and Public Ecological Ritual’, British Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, University of York, September 2008.