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Theory and method are two terms that ideally signal something in the academic study of religion, often indicating to cognoscenti an awareness of and a sensitivity to how data is brought into existence and the often-unchecked assumptions that traditionally and continue to govern knowledge production. The two terms are often associated with a critical posture that works on the assumption that the world does not self-categorize, simply awaiting us to describe it as accurately as possible. Instead, theory and method emerge from an awareness that it is we who conjure our data into existence. This introductory chapter will briefly discuss this process of meaning-making in Islamic studies. It will also discuss the structure of the volume.

In: New Methodological Perspectives in Islamic Studies
Volume Editors: and
Supplements to Method & Theory in the Study of Religion publishes book length manuscripts which explicitly address the problems of methodology and theory in the academic study of religion. This includes such traditional multidisciplinary points of departure as history, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, and sociology, but also the natural sciences, and such other approaches as feminist theory, discourse analysis, and ideology critique. Supplements to Method & Theory in the Study of Religion also concentrates on the critical analysis of the history of the study of religion itself.

The series has published an average of 2 volumes per year over the last 5 years.

Few studies analyze minorities among the African American Muslims in the United States. The absence of ethnographic research shows that the current scholarship neglects the minority status of African American Twelver Shias. Based on fieldwork observations from March to December 2015 and several informal interviews, I try to understand how the African American Shia community of New York was formed and how it negotiated its identity when encountered with African American non-Shia Muslims and with Twelver Muslims of other ethnic backgrounds. I try to revisit the diasporic/immigrant religious culture that some Twelver Shias like to practice. This culture seems to have no resonance for the African American Twelver Muslims. Because some African American Twelvers joined Shia Islam after the end of the classic period of the Nation of Islam, it is argued that highlighting cultural practices by the immigrant community might force some African American Twelvers back to their practices of origin.

In: Sociology of Islam


This paper briefly reviews the backstage to this special section on Greater Khurāsān. The editors will open up the floor for further inquiries and investigations on the region. While some areas of the scholarship covered how the historical Greater Khurāsān finds some contemporary relevance, we argued that much is left for critical analysis, particularly when dealing with the emerging movements the majority of which – as the papers in this section indicate – have firm roots in the history of wider western and central Asia, particularly what was classically designated as Mā Warāʾ an-Nahr (Transoxania). This paper ends with a review of the eight papers included in this section, and how broader themes among such diverse studies can inform future studies.

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33
In: Journal of Religious Minorities under Muslim Rule
Volume 33 of Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion brings together an open section and two special sections that illuminate new vistas in the study of religious and non-religious belief. Special section 1 examines the historical roots of religious practice emerging from Greater Khurāsān – a historical ‘cross-road’ for many world religions. Special section 2 initiates a paradigm shift in study of religious and non-religious belief in relation to children, insisting upon foregrounding children’s narratives. Both special sections explore under-researched areas, underlining the significance of historical and contextual approaches. At an intrinsic level the volume interrogates the power dynamics that determine why particular voices and approaches are prioritised in the study of religious and non-religious belief, and why others remain under- or mis-heard.