George D. Chryssides [+]
University of Birmingham and York St John University
Stephen E. Gregg [+]
University of Wolverhampton
The distinction between “insiders” and “outsiders” in religious studies has become an area of fruitful discussion in recent years. This anthology aims to extend that discussion by gathering newly commissioned essays from a diverse range of scholars, spanning a variety of disciplines and approaches, including ethnography, anthropology, theology and education. The result is a book that is at once accessible and readable, while remaining scholarly. The Insider/Outsider Debate has implications for numerous methodological issues in the study of religion, such as the emic/etic distinction, the distinction between religion and spirituality, the notions of “believing without belonging”, the claim to be “spiritual but not religious” and the existence of multiple, complicated, contesting religious identities. A particular focus of the volume is providing critiques of these methodological issues within the most recent academic approaches to religion – particularly models of lived and vernacular religion.