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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 28 shows how the term “conversion,” in most Asian contexts, sounds exclusively associated with Europe and Christianity. Its transcultural utility is argued here even if “conversion” is invariably linked to “religion,” itself a term burdened with connotations of exclusion. The following sections discuss Robin Horton’s “Intellectualist” model and Robert Hefner’s “Reference Group” model. Ultimately, religious identities are often more fluid than fixed, and the possibility remains that motivations may change over time. Yet the term “conversion” remains linked to “religion,” which has already been noted for its unhelpful connotations of exclusion. It should be noted that, despite Christianity being brought to Asia by Euro-American missions, Asian Christians are the ones who make themselves Christian.

Keywords: conversion, Asian contexts, Europe, transcultural utility, connotations of exclusion, Robin Horton, Robert Hefner

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