Date of Award
Conversion studies, Evangelical, Life course, Narrative analysis, Rupture, US American
Within the last few decades, there have been significant discussions regarding the rupturing effect that conversions to Christianity have in indigenous contexts. Individuals who have converted to Christianity from indigenous religions frequently speak of a disruption between their pre-conversion and post-conversion selves and social worlds. Anthropologists have yet, however, to study in-depth the narratives of people living within societies like the US, where Christianity is the hegemonic religion, to see whether or not the same phenomenon can be documented in contexts where individuals are often converting from one form of Christianity to another. Through the lens of narrative analysis, I examined the narratives of six US American adult converts to evangelical Christianity to identify the ways that rupture affected their post-evangelical lives. I discovered that, while rupture is a feature of these narratives, their stories were best understood when examined in relation to participants’ life courses. When analyzed through the lens of temporality, linearity, spatial shifts, and continual growth into an evangelical belief system, participants’ evangelical conversion experiences had caused a disruption that led them to have distinct pre-evangelical pasts, post-evangelical presents, and post-evangelical futures. My findings demonstrate that rupture does play an important role in US American evangelical conversion narratives, but that these accounts can also contribute new understandings to the field of conversion studies.
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Baumer, Nichole, "Ruptured Lives: Narrative Accounts of US American Adult Converts to Evangelical Christianity over the Life Course" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1891.
Received from ProQuest
Cultural anthropology, Religion