||||Browse & Search|||||About Us|||||Site Guide|||||Resources|||||Scholars Only|||||Contact Us||||
This database is limited to scholarspeople with graduate degrees who conduct research and whose professional standards call for free inquiry and expression. Scholars strive to use logical reasoning, accurate measurement and appropriate inferences.
Religionsource contains a huge amount of info about scholars, and scholars' info frequently changes. Creating the database has involved making some 100,000 decisions about scholars' expertise, based on the titles of their publications. Given these factors, some error is inevitable. When contacting scholars, you are advised to confirm any Religionsource info about the scholar before including it in your news story.
The main criterion is publishing academically, a process that tends to subject the scholar's views to peer review. When topics are too recent to be published, Religionsource may treat scholarly conference presentations or credit courses taught as evidence of expertise, if the scholar has shown scholarly ability through other publishing. Scholars researching religious issues from any angle are includedpolitical scientists, bioethicists, law professors, sociologists, etc. And they are included regardless of whether they are members of the American Academy of Religion. Scholars are not prescreened for media savvy. Scholars neither pay, nor are paid, to be included.
Not all scholars are includedjust those researching areas likely to be of public interest. And even for those areas we try to provide an ample, but not excessive, number. We exclude people who we know are official full-time staff public-policy advocates, or are paid to advocate a particular position, on issues involving their religion expertise. But we may not always know, especially in areas of expertise such as law. Some experts on church-state conflicts, for example, may serve as legal counsel to clients in court cases.
Comments made by scholars listed on this website are their own opinions, not necessarily those of Religionsource or the American Academy of Religion, which neither endorses nor rejects such comments.
A scholar may or may not be an adherent of the religion the scholar is expert in; but regardless, professional standards of scholarship require being able to speak critically about one's area of expertise. Religionsource does not try to identify scholars' religious beliefs, although if we find in the public domain that a scholar has an official religious title we will note that. Faculty at religiously affiliated schools we have included are not necessarily adherents and generally have substantial latitude in public expression of their views.
Sometimes contact and affiliation information may be unavailable for a particular scholar. The unavailability is often temporary. Scholars may, for example, occasionally feel the need to minimize outside contact while engaged in an intense period of research or writing. In such cases, however, Religionsource continues to include their names and bibliographic information so that it does not appear that we are unaware of their expertise.
Religionsource's accommodation of a particular search term or use of a particular term in a category name is not meant to imply the most appropriate wording. To facilitate your finding the expertise you seek, Religionsource sometimes accommodates or uses a term that, although not the best, is the more widely known. Religionsource will return results if you search using the term cults, for example, even though new religious movements is a more neutral term, because in seeking experts for this topic far more journalists are likely to use cults. For this reason, we encourage you to ask the scholars we refer you to about any non-neutral nuances that may accompany your use of particular terms in news stories.
The arrangement of expertise categories, and their presence or absence, is not
meant to imply how significant, or not, a category is. The arrangement is
merely to facilitate journalists finding the expertise they seek. Topics are
included only if they seem to be of potential interest to journalists and only
if Religionsource can locate scholars with that expertise.
|| Browse & Search | About Us | Site Guide | Resources | Scholars Only | Contact Us ||
by the American Academy of Religion, the
world's largest association of religion scholars. The AAR neither endorses nor
rejects any religious belief or practice.