Dimitris Xygalatas is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and Associate Professor at the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University. He is a world authority on “extreme rituals,” forms of ritual activity that require people to engage in such bodily practices as walking on fire and piercing oneself with sharp objects. Xygalatas has published numerous articles on ritual, cognition, and culture. His recent book, The Burning Saints, is a cogntive ethnography of the fire-walking tradition of the Anastenaria in Northern Greece. Xygalatas founded the University of Connecticut’s Experimental Anthropology Lab as well as The Mauritian Laboratory for Experimental Anthropology.
Research Interests: Experimental Anthropology, Extreme Rituals, Cognitive Science of Religion, Cognition and Culture