Critical Terms for the Ethnography of Religion
Keywords:fieldwork, participant observation, data, interlocutors, subjectivity, ethics, writing, positionality, religious studies, ethnographic methods
Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field encompassing a range of research methods and theoretical areas of analysis. Interest in ethnographic methodology has grown of late as scholars of religion with varying specialties and backgrounds have turned towards anthropology for inspiration on how best to analyze and interpret people’s variegated religious lives in the contemporary world. The special issue “Critical Terms for the Ethnography of Religion” considers eight key terms that are central to the conceptual grammar of the ethnographic method in order to highlight the opportunities and challenges this form of research offers the study of “lived religion”. By bringing together established scholars of religion who take ethnographic methodology seriously in their work, this special issue offers readers an opportunity to think with colleagues from across the discipline about what is at stake in their approach to studying, analyzing and writing about religion from an ethnographic perspective.
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