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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

While some argue that the conversion experience is ineffable, such experiences can only be communicated through language. This means that the properties of language are necessarily intertwined with both believers’ and observers’ attempts to understand the conversion experience and its implications. Here, several language-based approaches to the conversion are reviewed. The most important of these are: (1) consideration of the narrative features of conversion accounts; (2) study of the poetics and rhetoric of conversion narratives; (3) how performance and stylistic features of the conversion narrative construct specific social situations; (4) the role of linguistic ideologies in conversion narratives; and (5) the relationship between discourse and the self in conversion narratives.

Keywords: conversion, narrative, religious language, rhetoric, poetics, performance, linguistic ideology, discourse, self

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