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Ines W Jindra Robert Woods Diane Badzinski Jenell Paris

Abstract

Conversion is one important element of religion, the ways in which people shift from one religion (or none) to another, or deepen their commitment within a religion. This study explores the way Christian conversion narratives are told by college students. It considers whether factors such as gender, age, religious denomination, time passed since conversion, and measures of religiosity and orthodoxy influence conversion testimonies. Fifty-nine subjects gave in-depth interviews and completed several surveys, and research was gathered and analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Deborah Tannen’s genderlect styles theory and a social constructivist perspective on Christianity’s overarching story line are put forth to interpret the findings.
 
KEYWORDS: gender, conversion, communication
 

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