Methodological ludism and the academic study of religion

K.E. Knibbe, A.F. Droogers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The usual options scholars have when dealing with religious truth claims-methodological atheism, theism and agnosticism-are criticized for being restricted to the contrast between science and religion. They represent researchers' perspectives that are not helpful in studying believers' truth claims. Furthermore, they are associated with positivist or neo-positivist approaches to religion. Methodological ludism is presented as an alternative point of departure that connects well with current constructivist approaches to religion. Methodological ludism invites fieldworkers to use their human capacity for play by identifying temporarily, in a serious way, with believers' claims of true knowledge. This posture is described and explored in a case study of a Dutch healer, Jomanda. © 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-303
JournalMethod & Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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