By Andrew Buckser, Stephen D. Glazier
The Anthropology of non secular Conversion paints an image of conversion way more complicated than its typical picture in anthropology and spiritual reports. Conversion is especially seldom easily a unexpected second of perception or notion; it's a switch either one of person realization and of social belonging, of psychological angle and of actual event, whose unfolding relies either on its cultural surroundings and at the precise people who suffer it. The e-book explores non secular conversion in various cultural settings and considers how anthropological techniques will help us comprehend the phenomenon. Fourteen case stories span old and geographical contexts, together with the modern usa, smooth and medieval Europe, and non-western societies in South Asia, Melanesia, and South the US. They speak about conversion to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Spiritualism. Combining ethnographic description with theoretical research, authors think of the character and which means of conversion, its social and political dimensions, and its dating to person spiritual event.
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To skeptical outsiders, these Christians are associated with unwanted intrusion into neutral, public space. In certain respects, of course, such assumptions are correct. Missionizing is a highly valued activity (cf. Ammerman 1987), and the scorn or indifference of outsiders is often rationalized away by believers as merely indicating the need to increase their proselytizing efforts. When I set out some sixteen years ago to carry out my first stint of research among Pentecostalist and other charismatic groups in Uppsala, Sweden, I remember dreading the thought of explaining to my informants that I hadn’t been converted.
The mood on the bus was subdued but not anxious. Participants in the Return to Judaism program tended to accept the need for participation but to avoid discussion of what that acceptance might imply. At public rallies or in encounters with the Israeli media, they still largely rejected the whole Felashmura designation as senseless and stigmatizing, arguing that they had never been Christians at all or that their ancestors had only converted to Christianity under duress. In private, more complicated realities surfaced obliquely.
In a newsletter article Ulf Ekman cautions his reader: “If you witness at work remember you are there to work, not witness. "'^ Thus charismatic convictions about how salvation is actually achieved reinforce the sense that direct and extended social contact is not absolutely key to conversion. It is admitted that some people are “seekers” before they submit themselves to God, and it is certainly emphasized that once somebody has announced their conversion they should be followed up and ushered into church fellowship as quickly as However, the first moment of submission is indeed seen as a moment, an instant, and it can apparently be achieved through the medium of the disembodied Word divorced from human sociality.
Anthropology of Religious Conversion by Andrew Buckser, Stephen D. Glazier