The essays in this issue of Social Anthropology examine how religious ideas and actions become the object of reflection among the people holding religious beliefs and participating in religious activities. Reflexivity has become a popular term within current cultural and social sciences, and the exploration of religious reflexivity may be seen simply to reflect a more general ‘reflexive turn’. In anthropology the ‘reflexive turn’ is related to the self-consciousness of intellectual operations in a double sense as far as it has been concerned with the nature of both scientific knowledge and cultural knowledge. On the one hand anthropology has gone through a period of self-scrutinisation of scientific modes of representation, claims to truth and ethical standards. While taking itself as an object, anthropology has at the same time also been informed by phenomenological and hermeneutical approaches to the object of study, stressing self-knowledge, multivocality and the negotiation of meaning. It is probably no coincidence that the notions of agency, identity, personhood, experience, consciousness, etc. have gained priority in anthropological research carried out under the aegis of the reflexive turn. Conversely, the preference of reflexivity is due to more than paradigmatic constraints; it is commonplace to point out the inherently reflexive character of anthropology, even when it is carried out at home. As the minimal definition has it, anthropology is a means to see the other as self and the self as other.