Comparing Notes: The Anthropological Approach to the Study of Islam in Europe

Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

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).


The book is intended for undergraduate students in religious studies and anyone else interested in the study of religion. It differs from most other introductions and handbooks in that it draws on ongoing research to show ‘how’ researchers approach their topics, thus providing orientation in a multidisciplinary context without attempting to homogenize the field.  Religion is studied from a multitude of approaches and methodologies, also represented in this volume: history, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, psychology and the academic study of religion. The introduction therefore focuses on providing students with an overview of the issues that are at stake in choosing an approach to studying religion in a multidisciplinary context: how one can learn to recognize how scholars conceptualize and delineate the object of study, what theory is, to recognize on what level of analysis research may take place, and the ‘problem of belief’ in the study of religion. The author of each chapter discusses material from their own research to demonstrate the approach and methodology they apply to produce and analyse the material they work with. This allows students to orient themselves with regard to the various methodologies and perspectives that they can deploy to formulate and answer their own research questions. 

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Buitelaar, Marjo . Comparing Notes: The Anthropological Approach to the Study of Islam in Europe. Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Nov 2021. ISBN 9781800500709. Date accessed: 24 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42562. Nov 2021

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