How Do We Participate in Conversion?
Date of Award
Restricted Access Thesis
College of Arts & Sciences
Prof. Phillip L. Brandt PhD
In contemporary American Christianity, we have found many ways to ask someone if he or she has converted to Christianity, but have not cultivated many ways to talk about our conversions. The vocabulary for determining conversion is copious: "Are you born again?" "Have you found Jesus?" "Have you asked Jesus into your heart?" "Are you a baptized believer?” “Have you been baptized in the Spirit?" "Have you been washed in the blood?" "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" "Have you made right with God?" "When were you confirmed?" "Are you redeemed?" "Are you saved?" If we respond positively to any of the questions, then it is assumed that both parties in the conversation understand conversion in the same manner and move on. Each question may be referring to the same understanding of conversion or something completely different, but we would not be aware of any differences in our understandings of the statements as the questioners or the questioned. This is one of the reasons I chose to research the language of conversion used in contemporary American Christianity.