The Insider/Outsider Debate

New Perspectives in the Study of Religion

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George D. Chryssides, Stephen E. Gregg
  • Sheffield, UK: 
    , October
     434 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati forthcoming.


The distinction between “insiders” and “outsiders” in religious studies has become an area of fruitful discussion in recent years. This anthology aims to extend that discussion by gathering newly commissioned essays from a diverse range of scholars, spanning a variety of disciplines and approaches, including ethnography, anthropology, theology and education. The result is a book that is at once accessible and readable, while remaining scholarly.

The Insider/Outsider Debate has implications for numerous methodological issues in the study of religion, such as the emic/etic distinction, the distinction between religion and spirituality, the notions of “believing without belonging," the claim to be “spiritual but not religious” and the existence of multiple, complicated, contesting religious identities. A particular focus of the volume is providing critiques of these methodological issues within the most recent academic approaches to religion – particularly models of lived and vernacular religion.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

George D. Chryssides is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and York St John University (UK). He has taught at various British universities and was head of religious studies at the University of Wolverhampton from 2001 until 2008.

Stephen E. Gregg is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, and Hon. Secretary of the British Association for the Study of Religions. He studied at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and has previously taught at the University of Wales, and Liverpool Hope University.


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