School of Social and Political Science

Dimitri Tsintjilonis

Job Title

Honorary Lecturer

Dimitri Tsintjilonis

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)



Dimitri Tsintjilonis has been carrying out fieldwork among the Sa'dan Toraja of Indonesia (South Sulawesi) over a number of years, concentrating at first on mortuary rites and indigenous notions of personhood, but focusing more recently on religious change and 'the politics' of conversion. Within Indonesia, he has also carried out research in Bali and is hoping to undertake more fieldwork in Central Sulawesi. He is currently working on a new project in Greece - a project focusing on Orthodox Christianity and the significance of the Devil.

Selected publications

2019 '"The past is a promise to the future": stories, persons, and the devil in Greece', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 25(1): 148-165

2007 'The Death-Bearing Senses in Tana Toraja', Ethnos, 72(2): 173-194

2006 ‘Monsters and Caricatures: spirit-possession in Tana Toraja’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 12: 551-567

2004 ‘Words of Intimacy: re-membering the dead in Buntao’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 10(2): 375-393

2004 'The flow of life in Buntao: Southeast Asian animism re-considered', Bijdragen tot de Taal-Land en Volkenkunde, 160(4): 425-455

2000 'Death and the Sacrifice of Signs: "Measuring" the Dead in Tana Toraja', Oceania, 71 (1): 1-17

2000 'A Head for the Dead: Sacred Violence in Tana Toraja', Archipel, 59 (1): 27-50

Research interests

Research interests

Death, sacrifice, personhood, spirit possession, monsters, Indonesia, Greece

Topics interested in supervising

From shamanism and spirit possession, I have supervised postgraduate work on a variety of topics and ethnographic contexts. Apart from research which focuses on Indonesia and Southeast Asia, I am particularly interested in work which explores different cosmologies and attempts to understand the efficacy of ritual patterns - especially in the context of death and mortuary rites. I am also interested in supervising work which focuses on the connections between cosmology and the more pedestrian rhythms of day-to-day life through which agency is ‘sedimented’ in objects, words and everyday activities like cooking, gardening, telling stories, and making friends or enemies. I have supervised a number of very different PhD projects. Here are a few examples: 'From Spirits to Pollution: Death In Japan', 'The enactment of Past and Future in Afro-Cuban religions', 'Religion and Education amongst the Bonpo', 'Enchantment and "The Word" in a Scottish Fishing Village', 'Catholicism, Language and Community-belonging on Barra', 'Pilgrimage narratives', 'Indigeneity and ethnicity among the Utan (Riau, Indonesia)', and 'Heathen worship communities'. I am currently supervising work on the phenomenology of death in Nepal, death and perceptions of risk in (post Fukushima) Japan, animism and nature in Peru, and curses in Tuva.

If you are interested in being supervised by Dimitri Tsintjilonis, please see the links below for more information:

Works within