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Religious diversity: rethinking religion
Religious diversity: rethinking religion

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3 Religion as lived

Believing is one of the things religious people do. People often cite religious texts and teachers as authoritative. However, attention to the lived realities of religious people reinforces an understanding that we are dealing with changeable and contested phenomena. This is part of what makes studying religion exciting. In this section, we will look more closely at the diversity of religious practices. We will be looking at religion as it is lived.

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Figure 14 Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order, Sema ceremony, Saruhan Caravanserai, Sarihan, near Avanos, Cappadocia. Photo: Image Broker/Alamy

In religious studies, we apply methods that would be familiar to colleagues in disciplines like history, anthropology, folklore, literature, sociology and others. These aid us in understanding and discussing the varied phenomena of religion in its historical and contemporary, but always lived, contexts.