zum Inhalt springen

Dr. Cora Gaebel

Short Biography

Since 10/2014: Doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology. Dissertation: Trading with the Divine, Trading the Divine: Commodification of Religious Values during Nabakalebara and Ratha Yatra (Puri, Odisha).

10/2011 to 10/2013: Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Master's thesis: Hindu Renouncers between Mundaneness and the Extramundane. Ascetic Lifestyle and Everyday Life in Uttar Pradesh: Varanasi, Kumbh Mela, Narora.

10/2004 to 07/2009: Magistra Artium in Comparative Religion. Minors: Linguistics and History (Modern Times).M aster’s thesis: Sita – Draupadi – Kannaki. Religiöse Vorbilder hinduistischer Frauen [Religious Role Models of Hindu Women].

Academic Memberships

American Anthropological Association

American Academy of Religion

European Association of Social Anthropologists

German Anthropological Association (DGKSA)

Thematic Interests and Regional Focus

Anthropology of Religion, Ritual Economy, Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Tribal Societies, Gender and Sexuality.

South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Research Project

Dissertation: Trading with the Divine, Trading the Divine: Commodification of Religious Values during Nabakalebara and Ratha Yatra (Puri, Odisha)

Hindu festivals may be considered as a purely religious matter when viewed superficially; however, closer consideration may allow us to identify specific economic factors such as the travel expenses of a pilgrim, or the donations he or she makes during the process. But one also has to consider the broader impacts of a festival, for example on the local economy or the state.

Using two festivals as ethnographic examples, I argue that festivals can be examined using the economic dimensions of production, distribution, re-distribution, and consumption. In the case of the researched festivals, the converse criteria of destruction, accumulation, and non-consumption are also central concepts. These economic dimensions involve several groups of persons such as ritual specialists, artisans, shopkeepers, government officials, and devotees.



(forthcoming): Getting in Touch with God? The nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath in Puri (Odisha).

2018: The Mahā Kumbh Melā in Allahabad 2013: Hindu Renouncers between Mundaneness and the Extramundane. Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 26 (1): 52-84.

2017: The Value of Ritual Feasting: Religious and Economic Considerations during the Renewal of the Deities and the Chariot Festival (Puri, Odisha). In Roland Hardenberg (ed.), Approaching Ritual Economy: Socio-Cosmic Fields in Globalised Contexts. Tübingen: SFB 1070 Publications (RessourcenKulturen 4), 255-279.

2013: Wer tötete Rāvaṇa? Hinduistische Frauen auf der Suche nach einem starken Ideal [Who Killed Rāvaṇa? Hindu Women on the Quest for a Strong Role-Model]. In Stephan Köhn und Heike Moser (Hg.), Frauenbilder – Frauenkörper. Inszenierungen des Weiblichen in den Gesellschaften Süd- und Ostasiens. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (Kulturwissenschaftliche Japanstudien 5), 197-213.

Encyclopedia Entries

2017: The Worship of Jagannath in Puri (Odisha). Database of Religious History.

2017: Shaiva World Renouncers. Database of Religious History.


2017: Pilgrimage in the Marketplace by Ian Reader. Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 25 (1): 167-169.

2017: Tales of Justice and Rituals of Divine Embodiment: Oral Narratives from the Central Himalayas by Aditya Malik. Reading Religion.