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Title: Witnessing faith in Anthropology : technologies and techniques of conversion among Catholic charismatics in Malta
Authors: Sharples, Edel
Keywords: Pentecostalism -- Catholic Church
Pentecostal converts -- Malta
Conversion -- Christianity
Prayer groups -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Sharples, E. (2019). Witnessing faith in Anthropology: technologies and techniques of conversion among Catholic charismatics in Malta (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This study focuses on Catholic Charismatic youths and their experiences of conversion and faith within a Catholic Charismatic community. This thesis starts by first focusing on what is conversion within a Catholic Charismatic group and how the individual in a community comes to convert. In an attempt to discover the nature of conversion, I went through the processes of conversion and used myself as a primary informant. I also gathered information from conversations with other members regarding their experiences of conversion. Following the work of Harding (1987), the first section is a discussion on the rhetoric used within such Charismatic communities and how self-narratives and testimonies shape the individual to change their life trajectory and acquire meaning through the ‘Journey Narrative’. This section highlights the role of the community in the process of conversion since they provide a support system, ‘proof’ of the benefits of conversion as well as the narrative template for the individual to change. Another aspect which impacts conversion within this community is the use of technologies and techniques during the meetings and worship rituals. This study discusses how music, lighting, the structure of the ritual, and performativity all impact the individual and the community itself to create the optimum experience for someone to convert. These technologies and techniques work on the premise that the human being is fundamentally a sensory human being who is highly affected by the senses. This analysis leaves the question of whether conversion is simply stimulation of the senses or whether it involves a supernatural manifestation that changes the individual. This is where my experience of conversion sheds light upon this dilemma. Following the work of Edith Turner and other experiential ethnographers, I discuss how technologies and techniques are important in facilitating conversion, but in order to convert one needs to personally make the decision to take a ‘leap of faith’ and open their minds to the possibility of the supernatural.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2019
Dissertations - FacArtAS - 2019

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