Narrating Embodied Aims. Self-transformation in Conversion Narratives—A Psychological Analysis


  • Ulrike Popp-Baier University of Amsterdam



case history, Charismatic-Evangelical language, conversion narrative, eating disorder, self-transformation, chronotope, biographical inversion


This article presents a case history concerning a young woman's narrative about being cured from her eating disorder by converting to the Charismatic-Evangelical version of Christianity. The psychological-narrative analysis of the interview relies on the conversion research of Peter STROMBERG (1993) He maintains that converts who relate their conversion story use a type of speech that always comprises referential and constitutive forms of communication: canonic discourse which refers to a certain religious context of meaning, becomes constitutive (i.e. meaningful in a broader sense) by linking canonical language directly with individual experience. This connection enables verbal expression of previously inaccessible or unacceptable desires while deepening the commitment to faith. In this sense the conversion narrative constitutes the narrator's self-transformation. The case history presented in this article tries to show how the interviewee came to terms with unbearable embodied aims by telling her conversion story in the framework of the canonic language of Charismatic-Evangelical Christianity. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0103165


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Author Biography

Ulrike Popp-Baier, University of Amsterdam

PD Dr. Ulrike POPP-BAIER, Associate Professor for Psychology of Religion, current research interests: cultural psychology, psychology of religion, theoretical psychology, qualitative methods in the social sciences.




How to Cite

Popp-Baier, U. (2001). Narrating Embodied Aims. Self-transformation in Conversion Narratives—A Psychological Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(3).