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I think this question is important, because I admit that I do not have a religious affiliation, let alone a specific set of creeds. I also don't have a degree in Theology or Biblical Studies, or have much knowledge about Jewish culture, past and present, besides the references mentioned in popular culture, so I cannot lay an authoritative opinion. Plus, I am not a Humanities major in any way. Yet, some of the questions look and sound really interesting, and I do have EbscoHost, a library database that I use to do all my research and find all sorts of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Now, the tricky thing is, I am not sure if I should report the religious affiliation of the academic institution or the religious affiliation of the academician. What if the academician has slightly diverging views from his or her own academic institution or his or her alma mater? How can I make sure that the viewpoints reflect the school of thought?

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This can be difficult to do, because the religious affiliation of the institution where one works does not necessarily reflect that individual's religious persuasions. To further complicate the issue, academics tend to be free-thinkers whose beliefs are in a continuous state of flux. Therefore what they believed at the time they wrote a specific work may no longer reflect their current beliefs.

The best answer is that you'd have to read pretty much everything they've written and research the individual to make an accurate prediction of their beliefs, or you'd have to ask them personally. Since neither of these is generally attainable, often all we're left with is a 'best guess.'

On the other hand, some academics subscribe to the doctrinal statement of their institution (although it is questionable how many do so merely to keep their jobs vs. how many truly believe in those things) which is a fairly good indication of beliefs, and others are quite vocal about them. So... it depends on the source :P

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  • Do I still have to find the religious affiliation then? Can't I just use whatever source that answers the question, provided that the question is not specific on the denomination?
    – Double U
    Feb 8 '14 at 0:19
  • usually that is fine, but it helps to know if you are citing a fringe position or only sources from a certain perspective also at times
    – Dan
    Feb 8 '14 at 0:56

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