The Routledge Handbook of Research

Methods in the Study of Religion

Michael Stausberg & Steven Engler (eds), London: Routledge, 2013, 568 p.


This is the first comprehensive survey in English of research methods in the field of religious studies. It is designed to enable non-specialists and students at upper undergraduate and graduate levels to understand the variety of research methods used in the field. The aim is to create awareness of the relevant methods currently available and to stimulate an active interest in exploring unfamiliar methods, encouraging their use in research and enabling students and scholars to evaluate academic work with reference to methodological issues. A distinguished team of contributors cover a broad spectrum of topics, from research ethics, hermeneutics and interviewing, to Internet research and video-analysis. Each chapter covers practical issues and challenges, the theoretical basis of the respective method, and the way it has been used in religious studies, illustrated by case studies.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Part One: Methodological Issues

  1. Introduction (Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler)
  2. Comparison (Michael Stausberg)
  3. Epistemology (Jeppe Sinding Jensen)
  4. Feminist methodologies (Mary Jo Neitz)
  5. Research design (Wade Clark Roof)
  6. Research ethics (Fred Bird and Laurie Lamoureux Scholes)

Part Two: Methods

  1. Content analysis (Robert H. Woods and Chad Nelson)
  2. Conversation analysis (Ehsa Lehtinen)
  3. Discourse analysis (Titus Hjelm)
  4. Document analysis (Grace Davie and David Wyatt)
  5. Experiments (Justin Barrett)
  6. Facet theory methods (Erik Cohen)
  7. Factor analysis (Kendal C. Boyd)
  8. Field research: participant observation (Graham Harvey)
  9. Free listing (Michael Stausberg)
  10. Grounded theory (Steven Engler)
  11. Hermeneutics (Ingvild Sælid Gilhus)
  12. History (Jörg Rüpke)
  13. Interviewing (Anna Davidsson Bremborg)
  14. Network analysis (Jimi Adams)
  15. Phenomenology (James V. Spickard)
  16. Philology (Einar Thomassen)
  17. Semiotics (Robert A. Yelle)
  18. Structuralist methods (Seth D. Kunin)
  19. Structured observation (Michael Stausberg)
  20. Surveys and questionnaires (Barry A. Kosmin and Juhem Navarro-Rivera)
  21. Translation (Alan Williams)
  22. Videography (Hubert Knoblauch)

Part Three: Materials

  1. Auditory materials (Rosalind I.J. Hackett)
  2. Internet (Douglas E. Cowan)
  3. Material culture (Richard M. Carp)
  4. Spatial methods (Kim Knott)
  5. Visual culture (John Harvey)


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