The Australian scholar, Marion Maddox, has written an interesting review essay for The International Political Science Review (get a free PDF of the article from the publisher here) documenting the lack of cross-disciplinary pollination when it comes to research on religion.
As I’ve written on other occasions, when it comes to experts in other fields — sophisticated, often world-famous and much-quoted experts — they routinely revert to invoking nothing much more than a merely Sunday School level of expertise when they turn their attention to the topic of religion, making evident the widely held folk assumption that everyone’s an expert on this deeply personal set of beliefs about God (or however they opt to define it).
As she concludes:
So it is rather heartening to read an article instructing political scientists of the work being done in their neighbor’s yard and how it may overturn much of what they themselves take for granted about both religion and “religion.”
Thanks to Steffen Führding for bringing this article to my attention.