Practising the Space Between: Embodying Belief as an Evangelical Anglican Student

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Strhan, Anna (2013)

This article explores the formation of British evangelical university students as believers. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with a conservative evangelical Anglican congregation in London, I describe how students in this church come to embody a highly cognitive, word-based mode of belief through particular material practices. As they learn to identify themselves as believers, practices of reflexivity and accountability enable them to develop a sense of narrative coherence in their lives that allows them to negotiate tensions that arise from their participation in church and broader social structures. I demonstrate that propositional belief – in contexts where it becomes an identity marker – is bound up with relational practices of belief, such that distinctions between “belief in” and “belief that” are necessarily blurred in the lives of young evangelicals.
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