The enduring nature of a perspective transformation in the context of Christian conversion
Cook, Andrea Griffin
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this research was to examine whether or not perspective transforma tions endure in non- life-threatening scenarios, specifically religious conversions, and how they are influenced by subsequent life experiences that may or may not be perspective transformations. A basic qualitative design was used to collect and analyze the in-depth interviews of ten recent converts to Christianity. Following an analysis of the data, the findings of this research included: 1) The role of meaningmaking is important in conversion and is enhanced by learning, 2) Factors that influence how participants understand their conversion experiences are learning-centered activities, interpersonal relationships, spiritual encounters, and traumatic life events, and 3) Subsequent life events often strengthen conversion. Based on these findings, it was concluded that perspective transformations in the context of Christian conversions are both enduring (persistent) and evolving in nature, and that the resulting characteristics of perspective transformation in the context of Christian conversion may deviate from traditional ideas of what a “new perspective” should look like. The practical implications of this research are that adult and religious educators should consider the purpose, ethics, and outcomes of initiating perspective transformations, including conversions, within their audiences because perspective transformations begin an irreversible sequence of change that can be benefited and supported by educators. Recommendations for future research include studies that investigate perspective transformation in a variety of contexts and through a variety of subsequent life events, the characteristics of resulting perspectives in a variety of contexts, the convictional dimension of learning, perspective transformations perceived as developmentally positive or negative, and perspective transformations with a diverse range of socio-cultural influences.