Johannes Merz received his doctoraal degree in African Studies from Leiden University in 1998. After starting work as an anthropologist for SIL International in Benin in 2002, he focused his research on communication and media anthropology. Especially the increasing popularity of Nollywood video films, often with a Christian theme, grabbed his attention.
The rapidly developing and diversifying Christian mediascape in Benin provided the background for Johannes to begin his PhD research as an external candidate at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, which he finished in 2014.
Johannes continues to work as an anthropology consultant for SIL International and remains interested in media anthropology, materiality and various religious phenomena.
- A religion of film: Experiencing Christianity and videos beyond semiotics in rural Benin (2014)
- Translation and the Visual Predicament of the “JESUS” Film in West Africa (2010)