Dr. C.L. (Corey) Williams

  • Lecturer
  • Christianity in the Modern World

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 6903
E-Mail: c.l.williams@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, LUCSoR
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 2.03b
Personal Homepage: leidenuniv.academia.edu/​coreywilliams

Fields of interest

Broadly, my interests cut across multiple comparative religious traditions, methods, and theories of religion. While I am an anthropologist of religion, with methodological expertise in ethnography, I regularly draw upon multiple academic disciplines, ranging from sociology, history, political science, and post-colonial studies. During my graduate education, I developed a specialization in the religions of contemporary Africa (primarily Christianity, Islam, and African Indigenous Religions). While this specialization includes a geographic focus on Africa, I am also interested in the global scale of these religions and in particular that of World Christianity. Other interests include new religious movements, religious migration, and violence and religion.   


  • PhD in Religious Studies and World Christianity, The University of Edinburgh, UK (expected early 2015). Thesis Title: “Interreligious Encounter in a West African City: A Study of Multiple Religious Belonging and Identity Among the Yorùbá of Ogbómòsó, Nigeria”.
  • MA (summa cum laude) in Religious Studies, History, and Anthropology, Pepperdine University, USA (2010). Thesis Title: “Conflict, Resolution and the Prospect of Peace: A Comparison Study on the Intercultural and Ethnoreligious Interaction Between Muslims and Christians in Contemporary Nigeria”.
  • BA (cum laude) in Biblical Literature, Ozark Christian College, USA (2008).
  • BTh (cum laude) in Theology and Greek, Ozark Christian College, USA (2007).


  • Visiting Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University, USA (2014).
  • Tutor and Assistant Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh, UK (2011-2014).
  • Teaching and Research Assistant, Pepperdine University, USA (2008-2010).

Key publications

Sports, Leisure, Religion, and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora, co-edited with Afe Adogame and Damaris Parsitau (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2015).

Religion, Conflict, Violence, and Tolerance in Global Perspectives, co-edited with Olufunke Adeboye and Afe Adogame (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2015).

“Researching Belonging and Identity in Multireligious Nigeria”, Knowing Each Other: Everyday Religious Encounters, Social Identities and Tolerance in Southwest Nigeria , A European Research Council Project.

“Religion, Conflict, Violence, and Tolerance in Nigeria and Beyond: Methodological Reflections”, Politics and Religion Journal, 6.1 (2012): 163-168.


Within the classroom, I bring a wide teaching scope in the academic study of religion. The following are courses I have taught and tutored in recent years: 

  • Currents in World Christianity

  • New Indigenous Religious Movements

  • Religion in Culture: Theory, History and Interpretation

  • Religion in Society: People, Community and Mind

  • Lived Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam

  • Global Religions: South Asian, African Indigenous and New Traditions

  • Indigenous Religions: Sub-Saharan Africa

Grants and awards

  • The David M. Stowe Fellowship, Yale University (2013).

  • Graduate Student Paper Award, American Society of Church History (2013).
  • Graduate Student Paper Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2012).
  • Research Language Grant, Institute Catholique de Paris (2011).
  • Conference and Research Grant, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, The University of Edinburgh (2011).
  • School of Divinity Postgraduate Scholarship Award, The University of Edinburgh (2010-2013).
  • Major Research Grant, Pepperdine University (2009).
  • Research and Travel Grant, Lily Foundation (2009).
  • Department of Religion Graduate Scholarship Award, Pepperdine University (2007-2010).

Administration and service to the profession

  • Student and Junior Scholar Committee, African Association for the Study of Religions (since 2013)

  • Planning Committee, African Association for the Study of Religions International Conference, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 30 July – 3 August 2014

  • Postgraduate Student Liaison, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, New College, University of Edinburgh (2010-2011 and 2012-2013)

I have also served as Co-Organiser and Head of Secretariat for the following:

  • Indigeneity Goes Global Workshop, The University of Edinburgh, 29 May 2014

  • Religion and Sport Workshop, The University of Edinburgh, 27 March 2013

  • International Sociological Association – Sociology of Religion Conference, Abuja, Nigeria, 27-30 January 2012

  • African Association for the Study of Religions International Conference, Egerton, Kenya, 18-23 July 2012

Recent and Upcoming Conference Presentations

  • “Looking Back into Religious Futures: Dynamics of Resilience and Mutation in African Religionscapes”, IAHR World Congress, Erfurt, Germany, 23-29 August 2015

  • “On the Mutability of Religious Traditions: Chrislam and Beyond”, African Studies Association of the UK, University of Sussex, UK, 10 September 2014

  • “Exploring Multiple Religious Belongings in Contemporary Nigeria: Chrislam and Beyond”, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, The University of Edinburgh, UK, 4 March 2014

  • “Religious Bricolage and Typology: The Case of Chrislam in Nigeria”, American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, USA, 24 November 2013

  • “Christianity and Cultural Bricolage in Nigeria: An Ethnohistorical Approach to Transmission and Appropriation”, American Historical Association, New Orleans, USA, 4 January 2013

  • “Toward Ethno-Religious Solidarity: The Case of the Ogbomoso Society of Chrislam”, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Phoenix, USA, 11 November 2012

  • “Religio-Cultural Bricolage and Conflict: The Chrislam Movement in Nigeria”, Yale-Edinburgh Conference, The University of Edinburgh, UK, 30 June 2012

  • “Deconstructing Religious Violence: Sociological Reflections on Herbert Blumer’s Method of Symbolic Interactionism”, International Sociological Association, Abuja, Nigeria, 26 January 2012

  • “Education and Muslim-Christian Encounter in Contemporary Nigeria: The View from Ogbomoso and Kaduna”, Yale University, New Haven, USA, 1 July 2011

Last Modified: 11-12-2015