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Evangelical Journeys: Choice and Change in a Northern Irish Religious Subculture [Paperback]

Claire Mitchell , Gladys Ganiel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £31.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2011
Why do some people become more religiously conservative over time, whilst others moderate their views or abandon faith altogether? Drawing on 95 interviews with evangelicals and ex-evangelicals in Northern Ireland, this book explores how religious journeys are shaped by social structures and by individual choices. It tells the stories of pro-life picketers, liberal peace-campaigning ministers, housewives afraid of the devil, students deconstructing their faith and atheists mortified by their religious past. Through hearing everyday stories about love, family, work and health, as well as politics, this book explores the many different worlds of ordinary evangelicals in Northern Ireland and the surprising ways in which their beliefs and practices can change over time. "Evangelical Journeys" is a well written book in a jargon-free style that will make it of interest to general as well as specialist readers.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University College Dublin Press (5 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906359636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906359638
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,135,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'As an academic study it is remarkably free of jargon and enables the general reader to gain a deeper understanding of how individuals experience their religion over time and of the facts and circumstances which influence expressions of faith. This is a well-written book with extensive notes, bibliography and index sections. It will serve as a valuable textbook for those wishing to carry out further research in the complex subject of religion in Northern Ireland.' Church of Ireland Gazette, 30 September 2011 'Claire Mitchell and Gladys Ganiel's book is representative of a growing trend among writers in the last decade who have turned their attention to the variety and complexity of evangelical Protestantism in Northern Ireland. By doing so, they have offered a welcome and insightful challenge to the stereotype that all evangelicals are preoccupied with politics, are disciples of Ian Paisley and are rigid and puritanical in their lifestyles - The book succeeds in describing a much more complex set of human beings than is often appreciated by commentators who either wilfully or otherwise describe evangelicals in sweeping generalisations.' Journal of Church and State 2012 'an interesting and easy book to read that describes Northern Irish evangelicalism from the 'bottom up' and which poses some searching challenges to that community.' Evangelical Quarterly, July 2013 'Overall, this book is a thoughtful, honest, professional piece of work, a notable addition to the literature and accessible to a wide readership.' Irish Journal Of Sociology, 2013 'As an academic study it is remarkably free of jargon and enables the general reader to gain a deeper understanding of how individuals experience their religion over time and of the facts and circumstances which influence expressions of faith. - This is a well-written book with extensive notes, bibliography and index sections. It will serve as a valuable textbook for those wishing to carry out further research in the complex subject of religion in Northern Ireland.' Church of Ireland Gazette 30 September 2011

About the Author

Claire Mitchell is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Queen's University Belfast, and is the author of Religion, Identity and Politics in Northern Ireland: Boundaries of Belonging and Belief. Gladys Ganiel is Lecturer in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity College Dublin at Belfast, and is the author of Evangelicalism and Conflict in Northern Ireland.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Over the last decade, Claire Mitchell and Gladys Ganiel have interviewed ninety five self-declared evangelicals in Northern Ireland to build up a picture of their dominant spiritual journeys and the individual choices that have determined the routes they have followed. They've now turned the analysis of these interviews into a fascinating book - Evangelical Journeys.

Based on each person's description of their faith development and their spiritual turning points, the authors loosely categorise them into one of six journeys: converting to evangelicalism, deepening evangelicalism, maintaining a steady faith, moderating evangelicalism, transforming evangelicalism, leaving evangelicalism.

The main part of the book consists of a chapter per type of journey, dipping in and out of the individual stories, noting the similarity and diversity in the experiences.

Because it's peppered with the voices of those interviewed, Evangelical Journeys is a captivating read. There's an element of spot-your-own-journey as you read, as well as a constant challenge to the tenets that prop up - or are the foundations of - your own faith as you grow to understand so many other people's journeys.

One fundamental observation is that although someone's initial denominational involvement tends to be an accident of birth (primarily their parents), subsequent decisions that "change and alter their religious views ... are not random choices" but stem from conscious reactions to their physical and mental health as well as to their peers.

The authors steer clear of trying to define 'evangelicalism' or adopting stereotypes.
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