Lundius, Jan (1954-),
Jan Lundius was born in Hässleholm, Sweden 1954. He holds a
Ph.D. in History of Religions from Lund University. He is presently
based in Rome, where he works as an independent consultant.
Lundius worked several years as a teacher (Swedish and History of
Religions) in Lund, Malmö and Hässleholm, and as an English and
History teacher at the International School in Hanoi. From 1999 to
2004 he worked as senior research officer at the Division for Thematic
Programmes at the Department for Research Cooperation (SAREC), a
division of Sida (the Swedish Development Cooperation). He has also
been lecturer in art and religion at the Catholic University of Santo
Domingo, the Dominican Republic and lecturer in Sociology of Religions
at Universitá degli Studi `G. D'Annunzio', Chieti, Italy. He has given
occasional lectures on History of Religions at the New York University
and the Institute of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi.
Lundius has carried out several consultancies for UNDP (United
Nations Development Programme) in New York and IFAD (International
Fund for Agricultural Development), FAO (Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations) and WFP (United Nations World Food
Programme) in Rome, specialising in studies of the impact of
development programmes on rural societies in developing countries,
particularly in Latin America.
He is married to Rosemary Vargas-Lundius and they have two
daughters, Janna and Esmeralda.
Works of fiction
- Alfio Scandurra, Bo Cavefors Bokförlag, Lund, Sweden, 1975.
- A novel about the nightmarish experiences of a young man in a
- Förförelsen (The Seduction). Bakhåll, Lund, Sweden, 1999.
- A novel dealing with the adventures of a young violinist, who
suffers a tragic love story, flees to Latin America and gets involved
in a ruthless massacre on innocent peasants. The story takes place in
the 1920s in Sweden, the Caribbean and Guatemala.
- Ensamma Män (Lonely Men). Bakhåll, Lund, Sweden, 2000.
- A corpse found in a wooden shed in Göinge is connected with the
covering up of dirty deeds done by drug Mafiosi in the Caribbean and
Malmö, Latin American guerrilla movements, small businessmen in
Hässleholm, the Swedish Foreign Ministry and various bewildered, or
unscrupulous, individuals around the globe. A novel about the
responsibilities and guilt all humans share.
- Kommer strax in på spår fyra (Arriving at Track 4),
Bakhåll, Lund, Sweden, 2009.
- Autobiographical sketches dealing with experiences from research
and devleopment work, mainly in Latin America. The book also provides
insights gained from encounters with holocaust survivors, participants
in Latin American revolutionary struggles and religious practitioners
engaged in Voodoo and Catholicism.
- Händer (Hands), in Artes: Quarterly Review of the
Swedish Academy and the Academies of Music and Fine Arts. No.3,
Vol. 23, 1997.
- An essay describing concepts related to the 'power of hands' in
classical Syrian and Roman religions. The important role of hands in
popular Catholicism, Voodoo, Islam and Buddhism is also dealt with and
finally the author tells a story of personal experiences involving
zombies and black magic in Haiti.
- El simbolismo - Un mundo de ensueños olvidado y revivido, in
Isla Abierta, suplemento de Hoy. Nos. 97 and 98, June and July
- An essay about European fin-de-siecle culture and the
international vogue it experienced by the beginning of the 1980s.
- Reality made abstract: the terrorist attack on the World Trade
Centre as an aesthetic phenomenon in Lundmark, Fredrik (ed.)
Culture, Security and Sustainable Social Development after
September 11. Gidlunds: Stockholm, 2003
- An essay of how violence has been aesthetized in Occidental
culture and how this has been mirrored by various reactions in
connection with the destruction of the Twin Towers.
Together with Leif Magnusson, Lundius has written the following
- Sacre de Printemps, bought by the Swedish Filminstitute in
- Stagnelius, bought by the Swedish Television in 1988.
- En gammal kärlek (An Old Love). Based on a novel by
P.C. Jersild, bought by 'Pictures in Motion' (a Swedish Production
Company) in 1996.
- The Great Power of God in San Juan Valley: Syncretism and
Messianism in the Dominican Republic. Almquist and Wiksell
International. Stockholm, 1994.
- Based on extensive fieldwork, a local messianic peasant religion
is related to its immediate environment, as well as the geographic,
historical and socio-economic factors that have been crucial for its
development. Comparisons are made between similar phenomena in other
regions of the world. A variety of socio-religious concepts is
explained and a historical analysis is presented, tracing their roots
in different cultures.
- PROZACHI: La historia de un proyecto para el desarollo de
pequeños productores en Zacapa y Chiquimula. IFAD, Rome, 1998.
- A description of an agricultural project, including the history,
geography and socio-economic issues of the area. The book is written
in Spanish, illustrated with photos by the author and supplemented
with separately published summaries in English, French and Arabic.
- Peasants and Religion: A socio-economic study of Dios Olivorio
and the Palma Sola Movement in the Dominican Republic (written
together with Mats Lundahl). Routledge, London and New York, 1999.
- A study of the impact of modernisation processes on a rural
area. The book is written together with a professor of economics and
presents in-depth descriptions of a local religion. Emphasis is put on
the historical development of certain economic and religious
patterns. By analysing how religious concepts and rituals develop and
change over time a description is offered of how particular groups of
peasants react to thorough socio-economic changes.
- Mishqui-yacu, Sweet Water: The story of a development project
carried out with the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. IFAD, Rome,
- The story about a development project in the Ecuadorian highlands,
focusing on the struggle to control water sources for irrigation. The
book is illustrated with photos by the author and also published in
French, Spanish and Arabic.
Lundius has furthermore written several scholarly articles about
popular religion and published them in various international books and
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