Anthropology of Religion

Religion has been a principal focus of the discipline of anthropology from its establishment in the 19th century. Since then, anthropologists have taken diverse approaches to the study of religion: from a focus on its origins and definition to what it means to different cultures to how to collect and interpret data to researchers’ positionality and their experiences in the field to the ontological reality of the supernatural. Anthropologists have also grappled with the category of religion itself and its Western Protestant bias. Importantly, in the anthropological approach, religion is not separate from other spheres of society.

Because of the discipline’s early work on small-scale societies, it perceives religion as deeply interconnected with other social spheres, such as constructions of gender, family structure, political organization, ...

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