Understanding living religion requires students to experience everyday religious practice in diverse environments and communities. This guide provides the ideal introduction to fieldwork and the study of religion outside the lecture theatre. Covering theoretical and practical dimensions of research, the book helps students learn to ‘read’ religious sites and communities, and to develop their understanding of planning, interaction, observation, participation and interviews. Students are encouraged to explore their own expectations and sensitivities, and to develop a good understanding of ethical issues, group-learning and individual research. The chapters contain student testimonies, examples of student work and student-led questions.
Table of Contents
1. Why Study Religion Off Campus? 2. Ways of Studying Religion Off Campus 3. Where to Study Religion Off Campus 4. Individual Fieldwork 5. Group Fieldwork 6. Virtual Fieldwork 7. Developing Fieldwork
Stephen E. Gregg is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, where he specialises in Contemporary Religion and Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Association for the Study of Religions, and has conducted research and led student Study Tours and Study Visits throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and the Middle East.
Lynne Scholefield is Senior Research Fellow in Theology and Religious Studies at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where she specialises in Religion in Modern Britain and Interfaith Dialogue. She has conducted research and led Study Tours and Study Visits throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East.
"Religion is lived both in almost casual everyday ways and in dramatic rituals. Gregg and Scholefield expertly guide us towards skillful approaches to fieldwork that will enrich understanding of people’s religious lives. They offer good advice for relatively adept researchers but they are most brilliant in pioneering ways for undergraduate students to learn how to engage with lived religion. This really is the book we have needed. Now we have expert, tested, and clear guidance for the task of studying real religion."
Dr. Graham Harvey, The Open University, UK
"This book will enable Religious Studies students to make the most of studying religions 'off-campus', whether on field visits organised by tutors, study visits abroad, placements, or individual research with communities. It is full of practical advice, but also serves as an initiation into the methods and vocabulary of our subject. The authors draw on their own rich and varied experience of fieldwork to bring the issues to life."
Prof. Denise Cush, Co-Director of the Living Religion Project, Bath Spa University, UK
"A religious pedagogy as rich and exciting as the paradigm it represents, this innovative book is a wonderfully accessible guide to appreciating and understanding lived and living religious communities and individuals. It is bursting with stimulating ideas and suggestions for teachers and students alike to study religion as both formalized ideal and fluid reality."
Prof. Leonard Norman Primiano, Cabrini College, USA