Introduction: Crossing religious and ethnographic boundaries: The case for comparative reflection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Univ Edinburgh
  • University College London


This Introduction to the Special Issue traces the history of the development of the sub-disciplines of the Anthropology of Christianity and of Islam to suggest that these ‘monistic’ tendencies have obscured exploration and theorisation of inter-religious coexistence and encounters for people’s lives and the societies in which they live. These sub-disciplinary boundaries have further led to an unintended ‘provincialization’ of both geographical spaces and theoretical debates, and stalled the development of a theoretically robust anthropology of religion. This Special Issue argues for the value of comparative work on multi-religious encounters within particular contexts, as well as by thinking comparatively on a global scale, as a way to generate new questions and considerations in how we study religion. The final section offers a short overview of the contributions to the Special Issue.


Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Anthropology / Anthropologie Sociale
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Mar 2020


  • Islam, Christianity, inter-religious coexistence, encounters, Comparison