Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology
This article discusses Crane’s research in a Taiwanese Buddhist monastery. Crane came to the field as a former Catholic, which provided a particular lens through which to perceive the phenomena she researched. Beyond the difficulties of having one's research interests misinterpreted by the community one is researching and the ambiguities that result from remaining open to conversion when studying religious communities, Crane examines the further difficulty confronted when researching religious personnel who have an interest in representing their religious ideals both to and through the researcher. The article examines Crane’s time in the Buddhist monastery and explores her personal ambivalence about her own religious sentiments while in the field. She argues that fieldwork conducted among missionaries is laden with unique difficulties and ethical ambiguities that highlight and exaggerate issues that arise in a variety of fieldwork contexts.
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Hillary K. Crane
Flirting with conversion: negotiating researcher non-belief with missionaries.
In Missionary impositions: conversion, resistance, and other challenges to objectivity in religious ethnography, edited by Hillary K. Crane and Deana L. Weibel
2013, pages 11-23, Lexington Books: Lanham, MD
Crane, Hillary K., "Flirting with Conversion: Negotiating Researcher Non-Belief with Missionaries" (2013). Faculty Publications. Published Version. Submission 6.