Practising the space between: Embodying belief as an evangelical anglican student

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JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2013
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2013
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)225-239
Early online date22/04/13
Original languageEnglish


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 from broader social structures. I demonstrate that propositional belief-in contexts where it becomes an identity marker-is bound up with relational practices of belief, so that distinctions between belief in and belief that are necessarily blurred in the lives of young evangelicals.

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