Religious Identity and Social Change: Explaining Christian conversion in a Muslim world(2015)
Routledge Advances in Sociology Series by David Radford (Senior Research Fellow, Hawke Research institute, University of South Australia)
Religious Identity and Social Change offers a macro and micro analysis of the dynamics of rapid social and religious change occurring within the Muslim world. Drawing on rich ethnographic and quantitative research in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, David Radford provides rich theoretical insight into the nature of religious and social change and ethnic identity transformation exploring significant questions concerning why people convert and what happens when they do so. A crisis of identity occurs when religious conversion takes place, especially from one major religious tradition (Islam) to another (Christianity); and where religious identity is intimately connected to ethnic and national identity. Radford argues for the importance of recognising the socially constructed nature of identity involving the dynamic interplay between human agency, culture and social networks. Kyrgyz Christians have been active agents in bringing religious and identity transformation building upon the contextual parameters in which they are situated.