Date of Award
Master of Arts
This research examines the ways in which African American Christians in a southern city construct religious identities. By examining existing research on identity, I explain how religious identities are developed and maintained using "narratives" that individuals tell about themselves. To date, few studies have examined the correlation between religious identity and Christian giving especially in the African American community. To this end, I conducted 20 in- depth semi- structured interviews with adults who are active in their respective Churches. I found that my respondents emphasized four key themes or aspects in the process of "doing" religion and maintaining religious identity: (1) reading and studying the Bible to discern what it means to be Christian; (2) being active in fellowship with other Christians; (3) tithing to sustain the material and spiritual fellowship; and, (4) experiencing emotions that signal whether respondents were doing religion correctly or incorrectly. Implications for future research are also discussed.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Harris, Rekeycha, "Identity Construction among African American Christians in a Southern City" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1609.