Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

4904

Date

2017

Date of Award

4-14-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Seth Abrutyn

Committee Member

Carol Rambo

Committee Member

Wesley James

Abstract

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.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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