It is common to consider religion to be a really serious matter. However, even the most serious religion does have playful aspects! In every religion, a niche has been reserved for the basic human capacity for playing with transcendent and immanent realities. Because of this insight there are implications for the study of religion: we need methodological ludism!
In this volume, this need is expressed in four essays by the Dutch ethnographer and cultural anthropologist André Droogers (Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Four eminent scholars of religion reflect on the ways and manners in which we have to approach modern forms of religion, forms such as Pentecostalism, Candomblé and various manifestations of new religiosity: Peter B. Clarke (Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, University of London), Grace Davie (Professor of Sociology of Religion, University of Exeter), Sidney M. Greenfield (Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Peter Versteeg (Research Fellow, Cultural Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).
Through case studies of religious choices and religious syncretism and through reflections on the fate of religion in Western Europe they show how the study of religion needs new imaginations, yes, a playful approach.