On Becoming a Lucid Theoretical Dreamer

Reflections on Academic Work Venturing Outside its Local Knowledge System


  • Anne Beutter University of Lucerne




post-theory, ethnocentrism, epistemology, situated observer, post modern


Postcolonial and postmodern critique left us with a range of insights that have a fundamental impact on how we perceive our work as scholars. It has for instance seriously damaged the idea that there is a way to escape epistemology to some kind of ’real’ reality that lies beneath our versions of rendering reality intelligible. This confronts us with a fundamental dilemma: As we always write as situated observers there is no proper / unbiased way to write about ‘others’, however not considering ‘others’ is ethnocentric and therefore wrong as well. Forced to take a stance towards this dilemma, this essay expands on the questions at stake and indicates a possible positioning towards it.

Author Biography

Anne Beutter, University of Lucerne

Anne Beutter M.A. has completed her BA and MA in Sociology and the Study of Religions at the Universities of Basel (Switzerland) and Leipzig (Germany). She is the Academic Assistant at the Department for the Study of Religions at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland) and is writing a PHD thesis on legal structures in a Mission Church in the early 20th century in the then Gold Coast (Ghana).


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How to Cite

Beutter, A. (2017). On Becoming a Lucid Theoretical Dreamer: Reflections on Academic Work Venturing Outside its Local Knowledge System. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 46(1), 17–19. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.31008