Judging the People Whom We Study

Picture 6Do you ever listen to “Interfaith Voices” on the radio or on the web? I find it to be a fascinating place to hear how scholars of religion (who often comprise the show’s guests and experts) try to represent their work to the wider public — a representation that’s generally lodged in all sorts of methodological and theoretical problems. Whether the issue lies in how these scholars go about doing their own academic work or, perhaps, in how they think they have to talk to non-specialists is, of course, something that would require more than just a brief blog post to investigate. (You should know, however, that my money is on the former.) Continue reading

Out of Bounds

red-cardThe blokes (that’s the right word, no?) over at The Religious Studies Project posted a link earlier today to an article entitled “The Case Against Mix-and-Match Spirituality” — an article, summarizing a recent session at The Aspen Ideas Festival, that nicely demonstrates how easily (and often) scholars adopt a stance from within the groups they happen to study, thereby taking sides in what are, in fact, local disputes, instead of studying how group members themselves make judgment calls on who is or who is not out of bounds. Continue reading