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De‐Centering and Re‐Centering: Rethinking Concepts and Methods in the Sociological Study of Religion

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Four conceptual and methodological edges or areas of study are outlined. They are located near what have been the boundaries between the sociology of religion and other subfields, where we believe a potential exists to encourage a wide range of scholars to revisit some central concepts. Paying attention to these edges—as a means to de‐center to re‐center our debates in new ways—not only broadens and deepens our knowledge of the “religious,” it encourages us to reexamine long‐standing conceptual tools, unquestioned assumptions, and accepted methods in the sociology of religion. We illustrate these edges through a review of recent literature and examples drawn from our current empirical projects.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of SociologyBrandeis University 2: Sociology DepartmentWellesley College and Harvard University 3: Sociology DepartmentUniversity of Georgia

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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