DOI link for Introduction
This chapter is intended for those who find it curious that some people even name one element of human behavior ‘religion’, in the first place, as if it were somehow identifiably distinct from other elements of daily life. The term church is found, but not specifically defined, in the Internal Revenue Code. At least three things might attract the attention of a scholar of religion: the term ‘church’ is left undefined; it is then used in a circular fashion; and a term local and thus relevant to one group is used as if it applies to all members of the groups. While the last of these may be inevitable—that is, there’s no position that is not situated and so people have no choice but to talk about the world from somewhere within that very same world—the first two are problematic for scholarship.