Andreas Johansson is the director of the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET) and he has a PhD in history of religions. In his research he analyzes how different organizations use religious terms and symbols. He analyzes a wide range of different source material and he has conducted fieldwork both in Sri Lanka and Japan. In Andreas’ PhD thesis, entitled Pragmatic Muslim Politics – The case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, he investigates the use of religious terms and symbols in politics. More specifically, it investigates Muslim politics. Its aim is to analyze the role of religious terms and symbols within a non-fundamentalist political party, namely the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a Muslim political party that has been part of the democratic process in Sri Lanka since the 1980s.
At the moment Andreas is part of associate professor Kristina Myrvold’s project on the use of religious miniature scriptures during World War I at Linnaeus University. His part of the projected started in February 2016. The research project investigates the production, distribution, and use of miniature scriptures for Muslim and Sikh soldiers from the province of Punjab in India who fought for the British Army at the Western front during World War I between 1914 and 1918.
As a photo enthusiast Andreas believe that photographs can contribute in presenting research findings. In one of his projects he used his camera to document signs and symbols in the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza. Using the camera gave him great insight in an otherwise closed society. The upcoming book Yakuza tattoo (Dokument Press, April 2017) is a great example of when a camera can be useful in academic work.
Andreas L. Johansson