Some scholars, for various reasons (temperament, scholarly interest, employment choices, or lack thereof) choose to be independent scholars. All this means is that they do not have an academic institutional affiliation, though most of them work for a living somewhere. There are advantages to such a choice: no dull faculty meetings, no boring teaching assignments, the ability to pursue one’s own research interests. However, disadvantages accrue as well: often lack of library privileges, no institutional structure for benefits, economic problems, and the need to work outside the field in order to fund one’s work inside it. Some of those who are called independent scholars are really religious studies–trained colleagues who work in fields other than academia, so that term can cover a rather dubious assumption about our homogeneity.