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Personal Knowledge and Beyond: Reshaping the Ethnography of Religion
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Personal Knowledge and Beyond: Reshaping the Ethnography of Religion (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Over the last decade the sociology of religion and religious studies have experienced a surge of ethnographic research. Scholars now use ethnography, as anthropologists have long done, as a valued source of knowledge from which they draw their pictures of the religious world.





Yet, many researchers of religion have yet to grapple with the issues that are changing anthropologists' use of the method. Personal Knowledge and Beyond seeks to foster a cross-disciplinary rethinking of ethnography's possibilities and limits for the study of religions. It provides an overview of recent debates while also pushing them in new directions. In addition, it offers critiques of some of anthropology's reigning conceptualizations.





The volume brings together many of the best-known ethnographic researchers of religion, including Karen McCarthy Brown, Lynn Davidman, Armin Geertz, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Mary Jo Neitz, and Thomas Tweed. Together, they share substantively from their fieldwork and consider the consequences for the study of religion of rejecting old ethnographic myths, as well as the risks of replacing them with new ones. The volume will be of interest to students as well as to experienced scholars in the field.

James V. Spickard is Professor of Sociology at the University of Redlands and current president of the ISA's Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion. He is the coauthor of Personal Knowledge and Beyond: Reshaping the Ethnography of Religion (NYU Press), among several other books. Shawn Landres is a doctoral candidate in religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and in social anthropology at Oxford University. Meredith B. McGuire is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Trinity University. She is the author or coauthor of several books, including Religion: The Social Context and Ritual Healing in Suburban America.

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