Erica Baffelli

Erica Baffelli


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I have a PhD in East Asian Studies (Japanese) from Ca’ Foscari University (Venezia). Between 2005-2007 I was a visiting researcher at Hosei University (Tokyo) as a post-doctoral research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Before arriving at Manchester in 2013 I spent six years in New Zealand, working at the University of Otago as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Asian Religions.

Between 2017-2020 I was the Director of the  North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, a consortium sponsored by the AHRC of seven universities and HEIs. It offers postgraduate studentships, supervision, training and skills development across the full range of the Arts and Humanities disciplines.

I have held visiting positions at several institutions including Toyo University (2021); Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo (2019); Université Libre de Bruxelles (2018); Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University (2016).


Research interests

My research interests lie in religion in contemporary Japan with a focus on religious minorities, media and technology, violence, emotions and temporalities. 

My research and fieldwork have been supported by UK Research and Innovation, Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Canon Foundation.

I am currently PI on a Leverhulme Research Project on "Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities" (2023-2027). In this project, I will work with Dr. Jane Caple to test the proposition that fear plays an important and productive role in religious belonging and the maintenance and renewal of religious communities.

In 2019-2021 I was PI for a UKRI AHRC-ESRC UK-Japan SSH Connection Grant on "Religion and Minority: Lived Religion, Migration and Marginalities in Secular Societies" (ES/S013482/1; Co-I Professor Takahashi Norihito, Toyo University). 

In 2016 I started a digitization project (supported by The Japan Foundation and Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation) of Japanese maps from the Maps Collection of the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. The project was continued and expanded by Dr. Sonia Favi who led the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Project Travel in Tokugawa Period Japan (1603-1868): Identity, Nation and Social Transformation (Agreement No 794595, 2019-2021).

My publications include: (edited with Andrea Castiglioni and Fabio Rambelli) The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions (2021); (edited with Jane Caple, Levi McLaughlin and Frederik Schröer) “The Aesthetics and Emotions of Religious Belonging: Examples from the Buddhist World”, Special Issue of Numen (2021); (with Ian Reader) Dynamism and the Ageing of a Japanese 'New' Religion (2019); (edited with Jane Caple) "Religious Authority in East Asia: Materiality, Media and Aesthetics", Special Issue of Asian Ethnology (2019); Media and New Religions in Japan (2016); (edited with Ian Reader) "Aftermath: the Impact and Ramifications of the Aum Affair", Special Issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (2012); (edited with Ian Reader and Birgit Staemmler), Japanese Religions on the Internet: Innovation, Representation and Authority (2011).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • BQ Buddhism
  • Japanese Buddhism
  • BL Religion
  • Japanese religion
  • new religious movements
  • PI Oriental languages and literatures
  • Japanese studies
  • contemporary Japan

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Digital Futures
  • Creative Manchester


Dive into the research topics where Erica Baffelli is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or