Maria Nita – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Dr Maria Nita is a Senior Lecturer in Humanities in The School of Writing, Publishing and Humanities. Maria teaches undergraduate students on the Religions, Philosophy and Ethics course, whilst taking part in research and outreach activities. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), having studied, worked and trained at Higher Education institutions in the UK and Romania.

Her research and publications are concerned with social scientific and interdisciplinary approaches to climate activism, green spirituality, contemporary Christian communities and organisations, art and performance festivals in Britain.

Academic qualifications

  • 2013: PhD "Faith in Transition: Christian and Muslim Climate Activists", The Open University, UK
  • 2006: MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities, Bath Spa University
  • 1999: BA in Philology, Letters and Theology, Licentiate in Philology, Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania.

Professional memberships

  • SFHEA - Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, UK (2021)
  • ISSRNC - International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, UK (2019)
  • EFSRE - The European Forum for the Study of Religion and the Environment, Norway (2017)
  • BASR - British Association for the Study of Religion, UK (2011)

Other roles

  • Lecturer in Religious Studies, The Open University

Teaching specialisms

  • Climate activism and green spirituality
  • New age movement, the counterculture, alternative spiritualities
  • Feminism and the Muslim world
  • Religions of the Middle East
  • Christianity and Islam in the contemporary world
  • New Religious Movements
  • Research methodologies and arts-based pedagogies

Research impact

Research impact is connected to the following successful funding grants and recent projects:

2021. Green Christian and Spiritual Discourses in English and Romanian
The Strategic Research Investment Fund 2021-2022, The Open University
Principle Investigator, January – July 2022
Awarded: £ 2,600

2021. Census Stories: Identity, Religion, and Demographic Change in Milton Keynes
UKRI – UK Research and Innovation
Co-Investigator, January – July 2021 (PI: Dr John Maiden)
Awarded: £ 17,000

2021. Best Practice in the Delivery of Online Conferences: Inclusion, Engagement and Impact
FASTEST, The Open University
Principal Investigator, January – June 2021 (PIs: Dr Maria Nita & Dr Stefanie Sinclair)
Awarded: £ 2,400

2019. Storytelling, Art, Faith, Climate: Developing Culturally Sensitive Models for Sustainability Communication in the Multicultural City
The Strategic Research Investment Fund 2019 – 2020, The Open University
Principal Investigator, September 2019 - December 2020
Awarded: £ 5,000

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Festival cultures: mapping new fields in the arts and social sciences
book

Nita, M and Kidwell, J.H, eds. (2022) Festival cultures: mapping new fields in the arts and social sciences. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. ISBN 9783030883911


Praying and campaigning with environmental Christians: green religion and the climate movement
book

Nita, M (2016) Praying and campaigning with environmental Christians: green religion and the climate movement. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 9781137600349


Ritualized art: cultural innovation and greening at festivals and protestivals
book_section

Illés, Z.S and Nita, M (2022) 'Ritualized art: cultural innovation and greening at festivals and protestivals.' In: Nita, M and Kidwell, J.H, eds. Festival cultures: mapping new fields in the arts and social sciences. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 115-140. ISBN 9783030883911


The naturalization of the alternatives in 1970s Britain through a 2020 XR lens
book_section

Nita, M (2022) 'The naturalization of the alternatives in 1970s Britain through a 2020 XR lens.' In: Nita, M and Kidwell, J.H, eds. Festival cultures: mapping new fields in the arts and social sciences. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 15-44. ISBN 9783030883911


‘Inside story’: participatory storytelling and imagination in eco-pedagogical contexts
book_section

Nita, M (2020) '‘Inside story’: participatory storytelling and imagination in eco-pedagogical contexts.' In: Molthan-Hill, P, Luna, H, Wall, T, Puntha, H and Baden, N, eds. Storytelling for sustainability in higher education: an educator's handbook. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 154-167. ISBN 9780367260262


'An altar inside a circle': a relational model for investigating green Christians’ experiments with sacred space
book_section

Nita, M (2017) ''An altar inside a circle': a relational model for investigating green Christians’ experiments with sacred space.' In: Hutchings, T and McKenzie, J, eds. Materiality and the study of religion: the stuff of the sacred. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 133-151. ISBN 9781472477835


Christian and Muslim climate activists fasting and praying for the planet: emotional translation of "dark green" activism and green-faith identities
book_section

Nita, M (2014) 'Christian and Muslim climate activists fasting and praying for the planet: emotional translation of "dark green" activism and green-faith identities.' In: How the world's religions are responding to climate change: social scientific investigations. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 229-243. ISBN 9780415640343


Counterculture, local authorities and British Christianity at the Windsor and Watchfield Free Festivals (1972–5)
article

Nita, M and Gemie, S (2020) 'Counterculture, local authorities and British Christianity at the Windsor and Watchfield Free Festivals (1972–5).' Twentieth Century British History, 31 (1). pp. 51-78. ISSN 0955-2359


Sky vs. earthly empowerment: from angels and superheroes to humans and community in the Marvel Universe and green Christian cosmology
article

Nita, M (2019) 'Sky vs. earthly empowerment: from angels and superheroes to humans and community in the Marvel Universe and green Christian cosmology.' The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 31 (3). pp. 236-249. ISSN 1703-289X


‘Spirituality’ in Health Studies: competing spiritualities and the elevated status of mindfulness
article

Nita, M (2019) '‘Spirituality’ in Health Studies: competing spiritualities and the elevated status of mindfulness.' Journal of Religion and Health, 58 (5). pp. 1605-1618. ISSN 0022-4197


Balneoterapia in Europa [Hydrotherapy in Europe]
article

Nita, M (2018) 'Balneoterapia in Europa [Hydrotherapy in Europe].' Techirghiol, IV (12). pp. 72-76. ISSN 2457-5690


Christian discourses and cultural change: the Greenbelt Art and Performance Festival as an alternative community for green and liberal Christians
article

Nita, M (2018) 'Christian discourses and cultural change: the Greenbelt Art and Performance Festival as an alternative community for green and liberal Christians.' Implicit Religion, 21 (1). pp. 44-69. ISSN 1463-9955


Faith in transition: Christian and Muslim activist networks involved in the climate movement
thesis

Nita, M (2013) Faith in transition: Christian and Muslim activist networks involved in the climate movement. PhD thesis, The Open University.


Divination as storytelling: dealing (with) death and extinction [blog post]
other

Nita, M (2021) Divination as storytelling: dealing (with) death and extinction [blog post]. Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective.


High religiosity and “resisting” Covid 19 governmental advice in Romania [blog post]
other

Nita, M (2020) High religiosity and “resisting” Covid 19 governmental advice in Romania [blog post]. Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective.


Where are Extinction Rebellion’s cultural roots? [blog post]
other

Nita, M (2019) Where are Extinction Rebellion’s cultural roots? [blog post]. Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective.


Humour, concealment and death mindfulness in Romanian funerals [blog post]
other

Nita, M (2018) Humour, concealment and death mindfulness in Romanian funerals [blog post]. Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective.


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