Research Methods for the Study of Religion

The role of empirical research in the study of religion has become increasingly important in recent years. In the discipline of Religious Studies, more postgraduate students are undertaking field-work based projects, and in other social science disciplines there has been a renewed interest in religion as an area of study. There have been relatively few resources available however to support methodological training in this specific field.

This project, funded by an AHRC Collaborative Research Training award, has been designed to address this gap. With support from the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme, this website was designed by the project co-ordinator, Professor Gordon Lynch, to provide an easily accessible resource to support individual researchers as well as courses in research methods in the study of religion. Training materials and position papers on the site were initially trialled for use through an intensive residential workshop held for PhD students from across the UK and Europe run in Oxford in September 2010. The discussion papers and exercises on the site are intended as introductory resources to give readers an overview of key issues and approaches.

Postgraduate users of the site, particularly at doctoral level, are encouraged to follow up with further reading using additional resources and links suggested for each topic. We hope to be able to add further relevant resources to the site over time, and welcome any feedback or suggestions for development of the site’s content.

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