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Edited by Brian Grim, Todd M. Johnson, Vegard Skirbekk and Gina Zurlo

The Yearbook of International Religious Demography presents an annual snapshot of the state of religious statistics around the world. Every year large amounts of data are collected through censuses, surveys, polls, religious communities, scholars, and a host of other sources. These data are collated and analyzed by research centers and scholars around the world. Large amounts of data appear in analyzed form in the World Religion Database (Brill), aiming at a researcher’s audience. The Yearbook presents data in sets of tables and scholarly articles spanning social science, demography, history, and geography. Each issue offers findings, sources, methods, and implications surrounding international religious demography. Each year an assessment is made of new data made available since the previous issue of the yearbook.

Contributors are: Todd Johnson, Gina Zurlo, Peter Crossing, Juan Cruz Esquivel, Fortunato Mallimaci, Annalisa Butticci, Brian Grim, Philip Connor, Ken Chitwood, Vegard Skirbekk, Marcin Stonawski, Rodrigo Franklin de Sousa, Davis Brown, Juan Carlos Esparza Ochoa, and Maria Concepción Servín Nieto.

William Arnal and Russell McCutcheon

This short paper aims to respond to some of the observations and insights of the five reviewers of our book, The Sacred Is the Profane.

André Droogers and Kim Knibbe

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/157006811X608395 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 23 (2011) 283-303 M E T H O D T H E O R Y in the S T U D Y O F R E L I G I O N & Methodological Ludism and the Academic Study of Religion Kim Knibbe Department of Theology

Armin W. Geertz

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON METHODOLOGY IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION ARMIN W. GEERTZ This paper explores the methodological problems raised by what broadly can be called postmodern challenges to the study of religion. In dealing with the religions of living cultures and especially with cultures that

Steve Bruce

is more likely to be a community of interest rather than a community of place. It may seem pedestrian to shift from globalization to church membership rates but the declining importance of geography creates a major methodological problem for sociologists who wish to assess the relative popularity

Kevin Schilbrack

new scholarship in this area. Department of Religion University of Manitoba Emyr Vaughan Thomas, Wittgensteinian Values: Philosophy, Religious Belief and Descriptivist Methodology. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001. ISBN 1-84014- 853-5. 144 pp. $59.95 (cloth). K  S  Famously, Ludwig Wittgenstein

K. Merinda Simmons


Atalia Omer’s essay “In the Critic vs. Caretaker Dichotomy A Magic Dwells: Parroting McCutcheon, Policing ‘Religion’ (A Rejoinder to Merinda Simmons)” responds to my MTSR article “Regulating Identities: The Silences of Critical Caretaking.” In this rejoinder to her response, I answer to her main critiques of my article, and I suggest that her distinction between the academy and “the real world” is a problematic one that exempts, and thus protects, scholarship from critique.

Justin Barrett

Methodological Refl ections 1 Justin L. Barrett Centre for Anthropology & Mind, Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PN United Kingdom Abstract Boyer’s theory of counterintuitive cultural concept transmission claims

A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

Russell McCutcheon

A Modest Proposal on Method further documents methodological and institutional failings in the academic study of religion. This collection of essays identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the field. But amidst the critique there are a variety of practical suggestions for how the science of religion can become methodologically even-handed and self-reflexive—the markings of a historically rigorous exercise. Each chapter is introduced and contextualized by a newly written, substantive introduction.