Methods of fieldwork in religious studies

On 22 November 2018 in Arkhangelsk, Russia, the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) partnered with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) to hold a masterclass entitled ‘Methods of field religious studies: tools, field, analysis and interpretation of the results’. The meeting was attended by NArFU lecturers and students of cultural and religious studies. One of the top priorities for DOC in holding events such as these is to strengthen inter-university cooperation.
The event was held within the framework of the “Inter-Ethnic and Inter-Religious Relations” masters program, launched by NArFU this year. ‘Methods of field religious studies’ is the first in a series of seminars and round tables held by the DOC Research Institute in collaboration with leading universities and research centers in Russia and the CIS. Associate researchers from DOC, Alexey Starostin and Roman Bykov, conducted the masterclass.
Alexey Starostin, who is also Associate Professor of the Theology Department at the Ural State Mining University, gave a lecture on the specific features of working with a key type of religious studies sources – statistical and demographic data. Parish registers and census reports were specifically mentioned. The examples were primarily taken from Muslim communities in the Urals region. In addition, Starostin briefed the university audience on existing online resources relevant to religious studies scholars.
Field research methods such as in-depth interviews, ethnographic observation at temples and during religious rituals, questioning as a biographical method, and questioning conducted as part of large-scale sociological research were covered. The features of the questioning process and its

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