Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

Introduction: Religion as Relation

Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

Peter Berger [+-]
University of Groningen
Peter Berger (PhD 2004, FU Berlin) is Associate Professor of Indian Religions and the Anthropology of Religion at the University of Groningen. His areas of interest include the anthropology of religion, indigenous religions (esp. in India), theory and history of anthropology and the anthropology of India. His books include Feeding, Sharing and Devouring: Ritual and Society in Highland Odisha, India (De Gruyter, 2015), and he coedited Godroads: Modalities of Conversion in India (Cambridge UP, 2020), Ultimate Ambiguities: Investigating Death and Liminality (Berghahn, 2016), The Modern Anthropology of India (Routledge, 2013) and The Anthropology of Values (Pearson, 2010).
Marjo Buitelaar [+-]
University of Groningen
Marjo Buitelaar is Professor of Contemporary Islam from an anthropological perspective at the University of Groningen. Her research interests concern Islam in everyday life and narrative identity construction in a post-migration context. Buitelaar is presently programme-leader of a research project on 'Modern Articulations of Pilgrimage to Mecca' (NWO grant 360-25-150). Her most recent co-edited books in English are Religious Voices in Self-Narratives (2013); Hajj, Global Interactions through Pilgrimage (2015); and Muslim Women’s Pilgrimage to Mecca and Beyond. Reconfiguring gender, religion and mobility (2020).
Kim Knibbe [+-]
University of Groningen
Kim Knibbe is Associate Professor Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at Groningen University. She is currently directing the project "Sexuality, Religion and Secularism" with Rachel Spronk (funded by NWO). Previous research focused on Catholicism and spirituality in the Netherlands and on Nigerian Pentecostalism in Europe and the Netherlands. She has also published a series of theoretical and methodological reflections on studying religion. Her most recent co-edited books and special issues are Secular Societies, Spiritual Selves? (with Anna Fedele, 2020) and ‘Theorizing Lived Religion’ (with Helena Kupari, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2020).

Description

To elucidate the various ways of approaching the subject matter, this introductory chapter will first outline three different modes of defining religion. In some cultures and historical periods, the category of religion may be alien to the context that is studied. Nevertheless, the phenomenon in question is part of a body of thought and practices that is now identified as religious. How did these phenomena come to be studied as ‘religion’ in that tradition? What is the history of such definitions? We will then address the issue of theory: what is it, and why do you need it? We will also introduce some basic distinctions in levels of analysis that we think are useful to navigate our way through the conversations across disciplinary boundaries that often take place within religious studies. Another issue that will be addressed is the relationship of the researcher to the religious context: should one be a ‘believer’ to understand religion? Or is the category of belief itself problematic? This question is a variation of the ‘insider/outsider’ discussion in anthropology, and our discussion will thus draw heavily on these discussions. In closing, we give an outline of the book and how the chapters relate to the central question of how religion is studied.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Berger, Peter; Buitelaar, Marjo ; Knibbe, Kim. Introduction: Religion as Relation. Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 1-50 Nov 2021. ISBN 9781800500709. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42550. Date accessed: 22 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42550. Nov 2021

Dublin Core Metadata