Frederick (Fritz) P. Lampe

Flagstaff, AZ


Cultural Anthropology and Religion

I am an applied cultural anthropologist who studies something called “religion” and community development. I am interested in what people believe, how that belief is manifest, is shaped by and is an influencer relative to what is important, what people will invest energy in, and promote for the social good. I have conducted research on the globalization of Christianity, community development, and grass-roots approaches to contemporary problems.

In addition to formal research I have worked for non-profit organizations, volunteered and organized volunteers for various community events, chaired Community Development Block Grant review boards (CDBG), and led student groups in cultural immersion experiences designed to engage with locally sustainable development projects.

Why Anthropology?

I became an anthropologist because I am interested in the relationship between culture and belief. I am very conscious of the way that my own culture affects the things that I believed were important, true, and normal. Living in Papua New Guinea I discovered that there were other ways of thinking about family, friendship, wealth, poverty, power, and gender. Ten years in Alaska convinced me to figure some of this stuff out a bit more formally.

My Context

I studied anthropology first in Alaska and then at Syracuse University. I conducted my dissertation fieldwork in Western Kenya where I spent time in a community that was evangelized early in the twentieth century. Over the course of three years (9 months in-field) I attended worship services, burials, fellowship groups. I spent time in the markets, along the roads, in peoples homes, and everywhere else people gathered. This immersion (participant observation in anthropological lingo) pushes me to take ever-more seriously the perspectives and experiences of people in community.


Anthropology and something called “Religion”

Northern Arizona University

  1. Senior Lecturer, Graduate Program Coordinator

  2. Department of Anthropology

       001A SBS West (Bldg 70)

        Northern Arizona University

        Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5200


    Ph.D.  Syracuse University

    M.A.    Syracuse University

    M.Div. Wartburg Theological Seminary

    B.A.     Pacific Lutheran University