research methods

Focus on Fieldwork: An RSP Remix

Podcast
In the first RSP Remix, Dave McConeghy guides us through recent RSP discussions of fieldwork and its impact on scholarship. This episode features excerpts from conversations with Christopher R. Cotter, Spencer Dew, Liz Bucar, Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada, Robin Veldman, Elizabeth Pérez, and Cristina Rocha.

On the study of NDEs

Response
In this response, Gregory Shushan writes, "The notion expressed by both Prof. Cotter and Dr. Schlieter in their recent interview that near-death experiences (NDEs) have been discussed in academic contexts primarily from medical/materialist and “paranormal” approaches is somewhat overstated – particularly in the study of religions and related fields such as anthropology.  Those who have undertaken and published research adopting a “critical religious studies approach, looking at these narratives in their social and historical contexts” will be surprised at the claim that such works are “largely absent”

A Tacit Case for Autoethnography as a Crucial Research Method for Befuddling Times

Response
"The aims of autoethnography—careful, creative, and responsible deployment of personal narrative as an illuminating force in the study of the cultural and the political—align with those of Onishi’s Straight White American Jesus in his attempt to avoid “reduction and demonization [of evangelicals]” while maintaining “the courage and the audacity to point as critical and unflinching of an eye on what’s happening.”"

The Important Tasks Facing American Religious Demographers

Response
"By focusing entirely on cohort turnover, we may be missing some important individual-level changes in religious expression across the life course."

Measuring and Categorizing Young Adult Spirituality

Response
Previous generations have not been influenced to change and adapt as quickly as Millennials and Generation Z

Nuancing the Qual-Quan Divide: The Vitality of Research Methods in the Academic Study of Religion

Response
By using “vitality” in the title above, I mean to point to two aspects of the same urgent call. First, I simply mean that research methods are vital to the academic study of religion. As Stausberg and Engler suggest, “it is through methods that data and theory speak to each other and become part of a shared horizon” (2011: 11), and indeed it is still not a platitude to recall that theory, method and data can be considered three sides of that triangle we conjure, whether implicitly or explicitly,