Stefan Binder

Stefan Binder is senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK), University of Zurich. He is currently developing a research project on the political and moral economy of marginal masculinities and queer life in Hyderabad (India). Before joining ISEK, he was part of the DFG priority program „Ästhetische Eigenzeiten“ at University of Göttingen (CeMIS), where he worked on a postdoctoral project on the aesthetic production and manipulation of multiple temporalities in the context of Shi’i mourning rituals and media practices in Hyderabad. He received his PhD in 2017 from Utrecht University with an ethnographic study on lived atheism and secular activism in Telugu-speaking South India, after graduating in Religious Studies, Cultural Anthropology, and Indology from University of Munich.


  • Binder, Stefan (2020): Total Atheism: Secular Activism and the Politics of Difference in South India. New York: Berghahn, 2020.
  • (2011) Die Erzeugung von Welt in Praktiken des Selbst. Eine Dispositivanalyse von Subjektivität im zeitgenössischen Buddhismus, Münster 2011


  • (2020) ‘Religion, Aesthetics, and Hurt Sentiment: On the Visibility and Erasure of a Muslim Minority in India’. In The Secular Sacred: Emotions of Belonging and the Perils of Nation and Religion, edited by Markus Balkenhol, Ernst van den Hemel, and Irene Stengs. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020
  • (2020) ‘Storytelling and Mediation: The Aesthetics of a Counter-Narrative of Atheism in South India’. In Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion, edited by Dirk Johannsen, Anja Kirsch, and Jens Kreinath, 219–45. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
  • (2019) ‘Magic Is Science: Atheist Conjuring and the Exposure of Superstition in South India’. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 9, no. 2: 284–298.
  • (2019) ‘Die Religionswissenschaftliche Teildisziplin Religionsästhetik’. Verkündigung Und Forschung 64, no. 2: 87–101.
  • (2019) ‘Aesthetics of the Secular’. In Bloomsbury Handbook of the Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion, edited by Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens, 263–72. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • (2018) with Quack, Johannes; “Atheism and Rationalism in Hinduism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Ed. Tracy Coleman. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • (2017) ‘“Let Us Become Human through Beef and Pork”: Atheist Humanism and the Aesthetics of Caste’. South Asia Chronicle 6 (2017): 205–27.
  • (2013) with Koch, Anne: ‘Holistic Medicine between Religion and Science: A Secularist Construction of Spiritual Healing in Medical Literature’. Journal of Religion in Europe 6, no. 1: 1–34.
  • (2012) ‘Der Erlebniskosmos Des II. Ökumenischen Kirchentags: Mechanismen eines religiösen Events zur Erzeugung holistischen Erlebens als Bewältigung von Moderne’. Zeitschrift Für Religionswissenschaft 19, no. 1: 187–211.