Research in religious studies has traditionally focused on adult subjects since working with children presents significantly more challenges to the researcher, such as getting the research protocol passed by the Internal Review Board, obtaining permission from parents and schools, and figuring out how to make sense of young worldviews. The Study of Children in Religions provides scholars with a comprehensive source to assist them in addressing many of the issues that often stop researchers from pursuing projects involving children.
This handbook offers a broad range of methodological and conceptual models for scholars interested in conducting work with children. It not only illuminates some of the legal and ethical issues involved in working with youth and provides guidance in getting IRB approval, but also presents specific case studies from scholars who have engaged in child-centered research and here offer the fruits of their experience. Cases include those that use interviews and drawings to work with children in contemporary settings, as well as more historically focused endeavors to use material culture—such as Sunday school projects or religious board games—to study children’s religious lives in past eras.
The Study of Children in Religions offers concrete help to those who wish to conduct research on children and religion but are unsure of how to get started or how to frame their research.