Religious identifications that are alternative to the major world religions are relatively new to census questionnaires. However, there is a stark difference between the available options on religious identity in the 2012 US Census than there are in the 2011 UK Census.
I find it our duty to walk the line that holds us from letting the veracity of a claim dictate our field’s observational models or orientations. A single informant’s truth is anecdote, not evidence.
Essentially, Kripal calls out the religious studies world for not having a sufficient appreciation of the power of imagination and invites scholars and the interested public into a new comparativism that moves away from strict materialism.
Can one really engage in a “serious conversation” in which one always has “the last word”? Or is that perhaps a “misrecognized monologue,” to use Lincoln’s terms? And what are the potential political implications of the assertion that scholars “have the last word”?
It might help to consider what exactly terms like “The Emerging Church Movement” (ECM) and its terminological correlates (e.g., emerging, emergence, or emergent) intend to describe.
what I will be addressing in this response, which I believe has become an area of concern for both ethnographers and subjects, are the effects that the ‘researcher’ might have in organising and constructing the identity of the ‘researched’ in emic self-representations.