A British perspective on the critical sociology of religion: A response to Mary Jo Neitz

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In a recent issue of Critical Research on Religion, Mary Jo Neitz presents a four-cell Locations Matrix created by the two dimensions of the status of the religion studied, as dominant and marginal, and position of the researchers vis-à-vis that religion, as insiders or outsiders. Her subsequent arguments about the influence of researcher standpoint perhaps work in the US setting where religion remains popular. This paper points out difficulties in applying the Matrix in the UK setting where religion is unpopular and uses the patently disinterested nature of much of the research conducted by professional sociologists of religion to retrieve the possibility of objective and value-neutral research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-2016
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Research on Religion
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015



  • standpoint
  • objectivity
  • disciplinary boundaries

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