Conversion Narratives in Context: Muslims Turning to Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia

Conversion Narratives in Context: Muslims Turning to Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia

by Daniel Gene Hoskins

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Overview

Conversion Narratives in Context: Muslims Turning to Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia by Daniel Gene Hoskins

Religious experience is a narrative reality, while it certainly relates to doctrines and rituals, it is embodied by the stories people tell which express the meaning of conversion as understood by the converts themselves. In order to enter this narrative world we must engage the actual stories told by converts, making space for their narratives as they make meaning of their experiences and thus open windows on the emic perspective. Sometimes this happens through stories that are largely thematic-expressing conversion in mainly one metaphor. Other times, narratives may touch on many different ideas, allowing us to discern various internal structures, such as some of the factors leading to conversion.

Nevertheless, as important as these narratives are, they are only part of the picture because religious conversion always takes place in context. Therefore, if we are to properly understand the deeply personal experience we call conversion, we must frame it within the social, cultural and historical currents swirling around that experience. The conversions in this study are rooted in the religious history of Central Asia, particularly the seventy-odd years of Soviet rule. By the end of that era, it is probably more appropriate to think in terms of localized islam, rather than a universal religion based on the text of the Quran. Not only so, but the once proudly distinct Muslim peoples, now living under Russian rule, had become enculturated into Russian patterns of life, thought, and worldview, a process referred to as Russification, something which had profound effects on the way some of them have experienced conversion away from their natal religion.

This study examines both of these aspects, first the contextual and then the personal, through the stories of thirty-six Muslims who converted to faith in Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia. By exploring the deeply personal and the broadly contextual together, this study offers a clear view of the meaning of religious conversion, in a historical, social, and religious context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945607004
Publisher: EMS Press
Publication date: 01/21/2017
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.02(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Daniel has a passion to spread the fame of Jesus in the Muslim world, something he and his family have been involved in since 1997, most of that time as church planters in Central Asia. He is now the Director of Fruitful Practice Research, a network of missiologists who conduct research on, and training for, church planters in the Muslim world. Daniel has his doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of South Africa.

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