Journal Article

How Religious Content Matters in Conversion Narratives to Various Religious Groups

Ines W. Jindra

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 72, issue 3, pages 275-302
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
How Religious Content Matters in Conversion Narratives to Various Religious Groups

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Even though considerable literature on conversions exists, there is a lack of literature comparing conversion processes in different religious groups. This paper is based upon an analysis of 50 conversion narratives to various religious groups using the narrative interview process of German sociologist Fritz Schütze. Narrative interviews are used to map the entire biography of a person, and its relation to the conversion experience. The interviews are analyzed using “constant comparison” according to “grounded theory.” Based on this analysis, I propose that we consider personal biography, push and pull factors, religious content, life course agency, network influence, and the relationship between all these factors when interpreting conversion processes.

Keywords: biographical trajectory; religious conversion; narrative interviews; grounded theory; conversion models

Journal Article.  11496 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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