Religious Conversion . . . What is it?
Of what does religious conversion consist? Paul on the road to Damascus? . . . or? Conversion abounds in our U.S. world. This course sees it as an integral part of the life of the convert, in which the convert has considerable creative agency. Adopting a biographical perspective, we will attend to both continuities and changes across the conversion. We will rely on detailed case materials, seeking to grasp conversion from the convert’s point of view. We will get to know a couple of religious converts personally.
Reading: Shirley Nelson, The Last Year of the War, ISBN 978-1592449248; also, an unpublished manuscript will be circulated.
About the Instructor
Steven Piker is an anthropologist who has conducted extensive field work in Thailand and the U.S. Religion is a career-long interest in his teaching and research.