Method and Methodology in the Study of Religion: Making Sense of the Diversity

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Indrek Peedu Research Fellow in the Study of Religion, School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Tartu Tartu Estonia

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Issues of method and methodology continue to occupy center-stage with no shortage of attempts to decisively lay out the correct meanings and spheres of relevance for both concepts. Here, first of all, the focus will be on charting, describing and analyzing the whole variety of meanings these concepts have acquired in the study of religion. Secondly, some of the noteworthy attempts to make sense of the diversity of meanings will be discussed. And thirdly, I will propose and explain a three-dimensional model that I consider more helpful both for describing as well as for analyzing the whole discussion than any of the current proposals. Importantly, this model also makes it easier to highlight substantial similarities with certain other topics and discussions which are oftentimes not using the concept of method(ology) at all, but which should nonetheless be seen as discussing the same general issues.

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