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The educational and transformative dimensions of evangelical conversion in the Philippines: the case of a Born Again local church


Religion in movement. New perspectives in the study of religious History

Institución Fernando el Católico, Zaragoza (Spain)
13-15 November 2023

Jeremy Ianni will participate at the Conference of the Asociación Española de Historia Religiosa Contemporánea co-organised with the University of Zaragoza, the University of Castilla–La Mancha (UCLM) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), with a paper entitled “The educational and transformative dimensions of evangelical conversion in the Philippines : the case of a Born Again local church”


As part of the "Identities in movement" axis, this contribution focuses on a post-Hispanic territory, the Philippines. Little is said from the archipelago about the new Christian conservatism, whereas evangelical movements are increasingly popular there. To what extent are the Sciences of Education relevant to the study of religious facts ? I will discuss the method by presenting field research in a Born Again local Church in the Philippines. Through ethnography (Laplantine, Merleau-Ponty) and multi-referentiality (Ardoino, Lapassade, Morin), it is possible to grasp the transformative dimensions of new converts in a field study. Such transformations, which oscillate between Stoic metamorphosis and Augustan conversion, raise the question of self-education. Some sociological works envision conversion as a total change of social world (Berger & Luckmann, Fer, Lesourd). Drawing on a corpus of testimonies of newly converted people, I will show how conversion affects identity and narrative production. The conversion or rebirth [Born Again], the projecting of oneself must be justified for oneself and for others, leading to reflexivity while being likely to be oriented according to the demands of power. Based on my field data, I consider conversion as a displacement of knowledge-power.

2 November 2023