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Tutor profile: Thomas C.

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Thomas C.
Scholar in Religious Studies
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Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

What's the difference between a method and a methodology?

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Thomas C.
Answer:

Whereas method refers to the procedures outlined by a given discipline (e.g., anthropologists use qualitative methods such as interviews and participant observation), a methodology refers to the theoretical frameworks that inform the use of a method and the interpretation of research data. You can think of methodology as basically synonymous with "theory." To continue with the example, an anthropologist might use Grounded Theory as their methodology for conducting research interviews. Grounded Theory here provides the framework for implementing the method (interviews) and assessing the data gathered.

Subject: Religious Studies

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Question:

How is religion studied?

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Thomas C.
Answer:

Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field, meaning that scholars in this field incorporate a variety of academic disciplines to study their object. History, philology, theology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and sociology are some of the common disciplinary approaches to studying religion. Scholars of religious studies consult several types of sources for their research including but not limited to sacred texts, historical records, art installations, and religious adherents.

Subject: Philosophy

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Question:

What is philosophy?

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Thomas C.
Answer:

Meaning "love of wisdom" in Greek, Western philosophy has its origins in the ancient Mediterranean. Though we think of it primarily as an intellectual pursuit concerning metaphysical, epistemological, and moral questions, philosophy began as a search for the good and the means to achieve it. To do philosophy means not only to engage with concepts using the tools of reason and logic, but also to engage in what Pierre Hadot referred to as "spiritual exercises" designed to cultivate and maintain an introspective and contemplative disposition. From Socrates to Kant, from Nietzsche to Hubert Dreyfus, philosophers have attempted to grapple with thought to inform how to live and die well.

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