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Methods for the Study of Religious Change

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The world of religious experience is changing much faster than the discipline that claims to study it. Religious studies still uses Christianity as its measure, still frames the world through the model of five world religions, still largely avoids analysis of key issues around power, poverty, violence, pollution, science, and social conflict, and still looks to highlight differences rather than commonalities. Methods for the Study of Religious Change aims to redefine the study of religion as the study of worldviews, of ideas which are active in shaping the world. It argues that the study of religion should focus on people’s worldview-making capacities and should contribute to the critical analysis of global problems and the promotion of cultural and spiritual respect across religions. Survey chapters on theory and method outline this new approach, while case-study chapters illustrate these ideas with innovative ethnographies of ritual, experience, language, morals and identity.

Published: Jan 1, 2014

Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1 Introduction André Droogers, Anton van Harskamp
Part I Methods for the Study of Contemporary Worldviews
Introduction André Droogers, Anton van Harskamp
Chapter 2 The World of Worldviews André Droogers
Chapter 3 Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches Compared André Droogers
Chapter 4 Playing with Perspectives André Droogers
Part II Beyond Dichotomies: Studying Religious Change in Ritual, Experience, Language, Morals and Identity
Introduction Anton van Harskamp
Chapter 5 Fieldwork on Ritual: Understanding through Participation Kim Knibbe, Marten van der Meulen, Peter Versteeg
Chapter 6 Fieldwork on Experience: Spirituality, Individuality and Authority Peter Versteeg, Johan Roeland
Chapter 7 Fieldwork on Language: Artists Express their Worldviews Rhea Hummel
Chapter 8 Fieldwork on Morality: Gossip and Secrets Kim Knibbe
Chapter 9 Fieldwork on Identity: Contested and Politicized Research Martijn de Koning, Edien Bartels, Daniëlle Koning
Part III Moving Parameters
Introduction André Droogers
Chapter 10 The Future of New Worldview Studies André Droogers
Chapter 11 Epilogue: Studying Religion as our Intimate Stranger Anton van Harskamp
End Matter
Acknowledgements André Droogers
Bibliography André Droogers
Index André Droogers

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This is a highly imaginative contribution to the study of worldviews.
Grace Davie, University of Exeter

Some scholars of religion whose approaches are informed by sociology and/or anthropology may find many salient points here..
Religious Studies Review

An interesting contribution towards articulating various methodologies in the study of religion. It is a timely publication especially in this age of modernization where religious experience is changing at an alarming rate. [It] will appeal to scholars as well as students of religious studies just as it will be an additional literature to the existing ones on research methods. The book is therefore recommended for religious scholars, research fellows and students across all disciplines.'
Reviews in Religion and Theology