Clayton Goodgame

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies

Clayton Goodgame is an anthropologist of religion, kinship, and the Middle East. His current research is on the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, one of the oldest churches in the world and one of the largest landowners in Palestine/Israel. It examines a longstanding conflict over control of the church between its Palestinian laity and its Greek monastic hierarchy. This is a conflict over resources but also history: the history of church lands, of the Orthodox tradition, and the right to speak for them. At Princeton, Clayton is working on a book project called “The Orthodox Line” which shows how Greek monks and the Palestinian laity make claims about their place in the church through idioms of sacred descent. It demonstrates how these idioms and the ritual tradition of which they are a part root the laity and the clergy in the land in powerful but unequal ways. Clayton received his PhD in anthropology from the London School of Economics (2021) and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship on the politics of church property funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.