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Mar 6, 2019
Please find the Call for Papers for our Autumn Conference 2019 here.
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Contested Conversions: Failed Conversions, Contestated Career Switches and the Desirability of Deconversion

Convener:  prof. dr. Anne-Marie Korte  (UU)


Abstract

Conversion is predominantly considered as an individual trajectory of religious transformation, to which in particular ‘authentic’ narratives testify. ‘Contested conversions’ takes a different point of view by debating the de/conversion stories also in light of the societal, political and religious discussions that these stories engender and the impact these debates reversely have on them. The papers that are presented here focus on the public and academic construction of the religion/secularity opposition in the West, and in particular on gendered conversion to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This gives the opportunity to discuss and compare the stories and their implications on several levels, and to explore how this field is composed in terms of the production of difference, especially regarding gender, sexuality and the religion/secularity opposition. The papers focus on failed conversions in Dutch Pentecostal churches, on public reactions to male soccer players’ conversions to Christianity and Islam in Western Europe, and on the question why deconversion, as imagined in novels and films, is not only a largely uncontested phenomenon, but even a desired story?

 

Papers
  • Failing to Feel the Spirit: Women Converting to Pentecostalism in the Netherlands - Drs. Lieke Schrijvers
  • Contested Conversions: Professional Soccer Players Becoming Religious in Europe - Dr. Mariecke van den Berg

  • The Desirability of Deconversion: The Lives of Orthodox Jewish and Orthodox Reformed Women in Contemporary Popular Culture - Dr. Nella van den Brandt