Yonatan Nissim Gez

Dr. Yonatan Nissim Gez

Coordinator of the Africa Unit
Research Fellow
Yonatan Nissim Gez

Academic interests: 

Development Studies, Anthropology, African Studies, Religious Studies

Current Projects: 

  •  Relations between religion and development in Africa
  •  African Christianity (esp. Pentecostalism)
  •  Religious identity, trust and middle class identity in Kenya
  •  Alternative models for religious mobility (“butinage”, “religious repertoires”), with special focus on Kenya, Brazil and Switzerland
  •  Israeli development cooperation in Africa
  •  Swiss private schools in Kenya

Curriculum Vitae: 

  • 2014-2015 / Post-doctoral fellowship, Glocal Community Development and the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • 2013-2014 / Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management of Development Projects, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • 2009-2014 / PhD in Sociology and Anthropology of Development, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Thesis title: “Religious Identity and Mobility in Nairobi: A ‘Religious Repertoire’ Approach”
  • 2006-2008 / Master of Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations, University of Cambridge
  • 2003-2006 / BA in General Humanities and Jewish Philosophy, Tel Aviv University


Edited books

  • 2014. Mobilité religieuse: Retours croisés des Afriques aux Amériques. Paris: Karthala (with Yvan Droz, Philippe Chanson & Edio Soares, eds.)

Peer-reviewed articles

  •  Forthcoming. “The Sheep-Stealing Dilemma: The Ambiguities of Church Visits in Kenya.” Journal of Religion in Africa (with Yvan Droz).
  •  Forthcoming. "From converts to itinerants: religious butinage as dynamic identity." Current Anthropology (with Yvan Droz, Edio Soares & Jeanne Rey).
  • 2016. "La mobilité en religion à la lumière du butinage religieux." Social Compass 63(2) (with Yvan Droz, Edio Soares & Jeanne Rey).
  • 2015. “Negotiation and Erosion of Born Again Prestige in Nairobi.” Nova Religio 18(3): 18-37 (with Yvan Droz).
  • 2012. “From ‘Crime of Passion’ to ‘Love Does Not Kill’: The Murder of Einav Rogel and the Role of Na’amat Women’s Organization in the Construction of Violence against Women in Israel.” Israel Studies 17(2): 129-155 (with Anat Herbst).
  • 2011. “The Phenomenon of Jewish Buddhists in Light of the History of Jewish Suffering.” Nova Religio 15(1): 44-68. (Reprinted in: Perry Schmidt-Leukel (ed., 2012) Buddhism and Religious Diversity, volume III: Islam and Judaism. London: Routledge).

Chapters in books

  • Forthcoming. “Les formes du religieux au Kenya.” In C. Thibon, M.-E. Pommerolle & M.-A. Fouéré (eds.), Le Kenya contemporain. Paris: Karthala (with Yvan Droz).
  • 2016. “Religious and Socio-Economic Mobility in Nairobi: Appeal and Barriers.” In J. M. Wadmüller, Y. N. Gez & A. Boanada-Fuchs. (Re)Searching the Middle Class in Nairobi. Geneva: Kompreno.
  • 2016. “Kitvei hakodesh kemitve lehekerut: zehut Yehudit-yisraelit murkevet bemifgash im natzrut shamranit bekenya” (“Scripture as a Template for Familiarity: Encounters Between a Complex Jewish-Israeli Identity and Conservative Christians in Kenya”). In R. Ginio, N. Levy & L. Schler, Hasadot beafrika: chavayot shel mechkar vehavnayat yeda. Haifa: Pardes (in Hebrew).
  • 2015. “A God Trap: Seed Planting, Gift Logic, and the Prosperity Gospel.” In A. Heuser (ed.), Prosperity Theologies in Africa and Beyond. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Oxford, Vienna: Peter Lang (with Yvan Droz).
  • 2015. “Bishop Margaret Wanjiru and the 2013 Kenyan Elections: Between Politics of the Spirit and Expanding Entrepreneurship.” In C. Thibon, M. Ndeda & M.-A. Fouéré (eds.), The 2013 Elections in Kenya. Nairobi: Twaweza & Heinrich Böll (with Tanya Alvis).
  • 2014. “Les répertoires religieux: une approche englobante pour décrire la dynamique des identités religieuses.” In Y. Droz, P. Chanson, Y. N. Gez & E. Soares (eds.), Mobilité religieuse: Retours croisés des Afriques aux Amériques. Paris: Karthala.
  • 2012. “Butinagem religiosa: a importancia da metafora para pensar o religioso.” In A. P. Oro, C. A. Steil, R. Cipriani and E. Giumbelli (eds.), A religião no espaço public. São Leopoldo: Editora Oikos (with Edio Soares & Yvan Droz).
  • 2010. “‘I Know Nothing about Africa’: Children of Undocumented Sub-Saharan African Labor Migrants in Israel, between Integration and Deportation.” In D. Soen, M. Shechory & S. Ben-David (eds.), Searching for Better Future: Who Pays the Price? Foreign Workers – Multi-Layered Analysis. New York: Nova Science Publishers (with Galia Sabar).

Articles in non-peer reviewed journals

  • 2015. "(Re)Searching the Middle Class in Nairobi: Insights from an Interdisciplinary Workshop." Ifriqiya 1(10):1-4 (with Johannes M. Waldmueller & Anthony Boanada-Fuchs).

Edited reports

  • 2016. (Re)Searching the Middle Class in Nairobi. Geneva: Kompreno (with Johannes M. Waldmueller & Anthony Boanada-Fuchs).