Anthropology and Religion Studies
A Personal and Academic Symbiosis
Keywords:Anthropology of religion, autoethnography, theory and methodology, fieldwork
This article is a reflexive account of the author's entry into the field of religionstudies through the discipline of anthropology. It is a frank accountof how the personal and the academic can intertwine, outlining how fieldwork,using an anthropological and experiential lens, can influence notonly the life of the researcher, but the content, theory and methodologyin publications. While earlier tertiary studies in religion centred aroundschools of divinity and/or theology, religion has moved beyond the strictboundaries of interpretations of texts and discussions of religion fromwithin a particular set of beliefs. The combination of the two major disciplines,(cultural) anthropology and religion, in a tertiary level curriculumare particularly pertinent to understanding the important links betweenculture and religious practices. The significant influences of other scholarsacross and beyond both disciplines are highlighted, along with theauthor's major publications.
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