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Book: Constructing Data in Religious Studies

Chapter: "If I had a Nickel for Every Time...": Thinking Critically about Data

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.37431


It is commonplace for scholars in the field of Religious Studies to quote Jonathan Z. Smith’s phrase “….there is no data for religion” and yet simultaneously fail to take seriously the call to analytical rigor that such a phrase was intended to invoke regarding how and why we construct the concept “religion.” This introduction presents the reader several key theoretical and methodological issues scholars of religion must face as they consider what constitutes their data – that is, the object of their study -- and provides an overview of the structure of the book.

Chapter Contributors

  • Leslie Smith ( - lesliedorroughsmith) 'Avila University'