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Department of Religious Studies

Mattias Brand

Mattias Brand, Dr. phil.

  • Lehrbeauftragter
Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar, Kantonsschulstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich
Room number

Biographical Information

  • Since 2019 postdoc at the chair for historical and comparative religion: Chair website
  • Visiting scholarships at Maquarie University (Sydney) and the University of Vienna (Austria)
  • 2019 Dissertation The Manichaeans of Kellis: Religion, Community, and Everyday Life (Leiden University).
    • Awarded the Gerardus van der Leeuw award (Best Dutch PhD dissertation on religion in 3 years) by the NGG.
    • Awarded a “Research Prize” by the Stichting Praemium Erasmianum (One out of five best Dutch PhD dissertations in the Humanities and Social Sciences).
  • Studied history (Utrecht University), ancient history (Leiden University), Classics and Near Eastern Civilizations, Track New Testament and Early Christianity (Leiden University, Cum Laude).

Research Interests

  • Transformation of religious objects and practices at home
  • Manichaeism and early Christianities
  • Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Publications (Selection)


Books and Journal Issues

  • 2022 Religion and the Everyday Life of Manichaeans in Kellis (Leiden: Brill, Open Access).
  • 2022 Religious Identifications in Late Antique Papyri. Volume edited together E. Scheerlinck. (London: Routledge, Open Access).
  • 2022 Special Forum Edition. The Role of Historians in the Study of Religion\s, Journal of Religious History (Australia: John Wiley and Sons Australia, Ltd, Open Access).

Selection of Articles and Chapters

  • 2022 “Writing a Cultural History of Religion at Home” in Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. (Open Access)
  • 2019 ‘In the footsteps of the Apostles of Light: Persecution and the Manichaean discourse of suffering’, in E. Fournier and W. Mayer eds., Heirs of Roman Persecution: Studies on a Christian and para-Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity (London: Routledge), 112–134.
  • 2019 “Identifying Christian burials” in: Perspectives on Lived Religion: Practices Transmission Landscape, Edited by Nico Staring, Huw Twiston Davies and Lara Weiss (Leiden: Sidestone Press), 85–95. (Open Access)
  • 2021 “Letter or Petition with Complaint and Request about Garments”, with E. Scheerlinck. In: Joanne Vera Stolk & Guus A.J.C. van Loon (eds.), Text Editions of (Abnormal) Hieratic, Demotic, Greek, Latin and Coptic. Some People Love Their Friends Also When They Are Far Away: Festschrift in Honour of Franscisca A.J. Hoogendijk (P. L. Bat. 37) (Leiden: Brill), 155-158.
  • 2021 “‘For only our lord the Paraclete is competent to praise you as you deserve’ (P.Kellis I Gr. 63): Identifying a Roman-Egyptian patron of the Manichaeans in Kellis”, in: J. van Oort (ed.,) Manichaeism and Early Christianity (Leiden: Brill, 2021), 128-151.
  • 2021 “Ten Steps to Superiority: Manichaean Historical Reasoning and the Formation of a New Religion”, in: Adrian Braendli and Katharina Heyden eds. Claiming History in Religious Conflicts (Basel: Schwabe Verlag), 111-141 (Open Access).
  • 2022 “‘You being for us helpers, and worthy patrons...’ (P.Kell.Copt 32). Manichaean gift-exchange in the village of Kellis”, in M. Scopello eds. Women in Western and Eastern Manichaeism (Leiden: Brill, 2022), 113-128.
  • 2022 “Laatantieke religieuze diversiteit in het alledaagse leven: een zoektocht in de papyri” Lampas 55 no. 2, 266-284, English title: “Late Antique Religious Diversity in Everyday Life: A Quest in the Papyri”).


  • “Making Manichaeannes ‘real’: Group formation through song”, in: A. Avdokin ed. Resonant Faith in Late Antiquity (Routledge).
  • “Religion and Roman Houses in Egypt: Towards a Synthesis” in Bibliotheca Orientalis.

Weiterführende Informationen

Brand Cover

Religion and the Everyday Life of Manichaeans in Kellis

Open access:

Special issue on the role of historians in the study of religion\s

Open access:

Cover Sammelband

Religious Identifications in Late Antique Papyri

Open access: