Rafael Cazarin

Rafael Cazarin is a sociologist with a background in ethnographic research and applied sociology. His work examines scientific and religious discourses around gender and sexuality in Spain for the project Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum of Global Perspectives. Over the past five years, has been a visiting scholar in multiple institutions such as Witwatersrand University, the University of Oxford and Université Gaston Berger. He also engaged in collaborative researches with development agencies and non-governmental organizations in South Africa, Switzerland and the Congo (DRC). In recognition of his work, Rafael was awarded the Ivan Varga Prize for New Generation Sociologists of Religion at the World Congress of the International Sociological Association in 2018. Currently, he holds the Juan de la Cierva Incorporación Research Fellowship awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science for a period of 3 years (Ref.: JC2018-035409-I) to be developed at the ISOR-UAB.

During this time, Dr Cazarin will develop his fellowship in two research strands:

The first area concerns to contemporary public debates around “Science and Religion” in Spain. Cazarin will carry on fieldwork and analysis for the project “Science and Religion Exploring the Spectrum: The Relationship between Evolutionary Science and Religious Belief in Global Perspective (SRES2). The project aims to explore the relationship between science and religion, especially focusing on the intersection between evolutionary science and religion in public space. In particular, Dr Rafael Cazarin will look at the social construction of gender at the crossroads between religion and science. In this way, he aims to map the current public debates about science and religion regarding gender in Spain in the last twenty years. The SRES2 is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust and involves a multidisciplinary team in the social sciences from 9 universities around the world. This team will examine social and cultural perspectives on evolution and religion in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Sri Lanka, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The second research strand examines the notion of gender and its tensions as evoked in partnerships between religious and development actors. In this line, Rafael follows up with his previous work analysing NGOs and development programmes designed to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in religious communities throughout southern Africa. The research comprised two years of fieldwork in South Africa funded by the Department of Universities and Research of the Basque Government / Eusko Jaurlaritza (Ref .: POS_2016_01_0022)


2017. Emotions and the spiritual knowledge: navigating (in)stability and (dis)trust in migrant initiated churches. Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion – Pentecostals and the Body
Vol: 8.  Brill

2017 (With Cossa, E.) Spiritual brokers: the role of African pastors in the mediation of migratory processes. Journal: Critical African Studies. Special issue: Vital Stability Special Edition , Routledge

2018. Pentecostalism and a global community of sentiment. Forging African Communities – Mobility, Integration and Belonging. Palgrave and MacMillan. Hampshire, UK.

2018. Cazarin, R. & Griera, M. (2018). “Born a pastor, being a woman: biographical accounts on gendered religious gifts in the Diaspora.” Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

2019. The Social Architecture of Belonging in the African Pentecostal Diaspora. Religions, 10(7), 1-15.

Areas of interest

Sexual and gender-based violence

Sociology of Religion


Public debates on science and religion

Emotions and social transformation


Qualitative methods and techniques in social research, Master in Social Sciences / Undergraduate Degree in Sociology, Dept. of Sociology, University of the Basque Country, 2014 to 2019