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Abstract

This RSSSR Special Section focuses on children’s perspectives on religion, ethnicity and identity. It seeks to depart from adult-led understandings of religious identity that are more keenly determined by theology, texts, or beliefs. This co-edited special section includes artcles and research explorations that listen to children’s notions of faith, ethnicity, and identity. By bringing together academics working in diverse fields to understand how children perceive, understand and ‘do’ faith, this special section will initiate a paradigm shift in understandings of religious and indeed non-religious belief. It starts with an exploration of our own work, which focused on everyday religion rather theological understanding, recognising how children’s religious identities will be as much informed by negotiations of cultural and social practices as by official doctrine.

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33
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.