Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Revisiting the Insider-Outsider Debate: Dismantling a Pseudo-problem in the Study of Religion

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

In the study of religion, the ‘insider-outsider’ problem seems to remain a stubborn issue. As self-evident and reasonable as that distinction may seem is it theoretically dubious and methodologically worthless. Rudolf Carnap would have dubbed it a ‘pseudo-problem’ that obscures more than it discloses. At most, it demonstrates the plain fact that knowledge is unevenly distributed among subjects. This article argues first, that several topics become mixed up in the ‘insider-outsider’ debate: empathy, the ‘emic-etic’ distinction, cultural essentialism and differences, privileged discourses and epistemologies and second, that there is no theory behind the distinction. Inspirations from Ludwig Wittgenstein and Donald Davidson explain how the ‘insider-outsider’ distinction rests on a ‘myth of the subjective’ and so is no problem.

Affiliations: 1: Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University Aarhus Denmark, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Method & Theory in the Study of Religion — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation