The 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture: I Can’t Keep Quiet: Engaging with Scholarly Research on Religion

Abstract

Methodologies used by social scientists grant access to quiet worlds and otherwise hidden truths. Social scientists are akin to strangers, trusted with secrets. The 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture proposes that scholars who engage with research on religion ought to listen quietly, but not keep quiet. We can transform the quiet to which we are privy into the collective. I illustrate the imperative to speak research out loud using the case example of the National Abortion Attitudes Study. Personal knowledge becomes collective revelation and, sometimes, social change.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The National Abortion Attitudes Study (NAAS) was funded by the McGrath Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame. Findings will be available in a forthcoming online report and subsequent publications.

  2. 2.

    All interviewee names are pseudonyms.

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Acknowledgements

This H. Paul Douglass Lecture was presented to the October 2019 Religious Research Association/Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Thank you to RRA President Patricia Wittberg for the invitation to give this address.

Funding

The National Abortion Attitudes Study was funded by the McGrath Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame.

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Correspondence to Tricia C. Bruce.

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Bruce, T.C. The 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture: I Can’t Keep Quiet: Engaging with Scholarly Research on Religion. Rev Relig Res 62, 397–411 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13644-019-00393-y

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Keywords

  • Douglass lecture
  • Public scholarship
  • Interviews
  • Abortion
  • Social change