Careful, You Might Lose Something: On Being Disciplined into the Anthropology of Religion


  • Ingie Hovland SOAS, University of London



This paper reflects on the experience of entering into the academic field of the anthropology of religion. Its reflections are prompted by a perceived division in the anthropology of religion between the Other (whose religion is the target of incessant and persistent questions) and the Self (whose religion is a fairly sensitive issue that is decidedly not questioned). The paper explores by what means the two sides of such a double phenomenon are able to coexist, and asks what repressions and exclusions are necessary in order to sustain the deceptively simple anthropological procedure where the Self examines/explains (the religion of) the Other?

Author Biography

Ingie Hovland, SOAS, University of London

Ingie Hovland is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Her PhD research is on the Norwegian Mission Society, focusing on how missionaries and others in the mission society think about themselves and how this has changed from the 1840s till today.