Religion and the insider/outsider problem
DOI link for Religion and the insider/outsider problem
Religion and the insider/outsider problem book
It is clear that there are implications for our studies if we presume, as so many do, religion to be an inner trait, sentiment, belief, or experience that is first felt and only then expressed in some secondary manner. The commonly described distinction between studying about religion and studies that are religious brings to mind what is commonly called the insider/outsider problem—an issue present, in Andrew Scott Waugh’s efforts to use only local names for the mountains he identified during his early mapping of India. From linguists, anthropologists and then scholars of religion borrowed two technical terms—emic and etic. These two terms roughly correspond to experience-near and experience-distant, terms used by the US anthroplogist, Clifford Geertz, to suggest the continuum that may exist between those experiences that are familiar and those with which one has trouble identifying.