© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/157006809X416832 Method and Th eory in the Study of Religion 21 (2009) 73-77 brill.nl/mtsr M E T H O D T H E O R Y in the S T U D Y O F R E L I G I O N & Th e Tie that Binds: Connecting Biography and Ethnography 1 Selva J. Raj Abstract Th e author explores his transformation from religious practitioner to ethnographer and the responses he received from academic colleagues, religious colleagues, and laypeople and the eth- ical challenges such responses posed. He then suggests that the scholar’s performance of ethnog- raphy can be understood through a classical Hindu schema of the life cycle. Keywords brahmacarya, grihasta, vanaprasta , Catholicism, south India Introduction While other essays in this issue of Method and Th eory in the Study of Religion have examined how practice can re-frame text or the colonial roots of the ethnographic enterprise, I wish to focus on the interface between the ethnog- rapher’s biography (or biographies) and ethnography. Put diﬀ erently, the kind of ethnography one does is determined, among other things, by the life- stages of the ethnographer. Drawing on my
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: BRAHMACARYA; GRIHASTA; SOUTH INDIA; VANAPRASTA; CATHOLICISM
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