Meeting Jesus at University : Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals book cover
1st Edition

Meeting Jesus at University
Rites of Passage and Student Evangelicals

ISBN 9781032099576
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

How does university turn students into who they become? Why are student evangelicals such a significant and controversial force at so many universities? In many countries, university has become the main Rite of Passage between the child and adult worlds. University can be enjoyable and fascinating but also life-changing and traumatic. And at the exact time when a student's identity is the most challenged and uncertain, student evangelical groups are highly organised on many university campuses to offer students a powerful identity so that the world makes sense once again. For some, these groups will protect them from the university's assault on their faith. For others, they will challenge and even change who they are. Meeting Jesus at University explores universities in six countries. Drawing upon detailed fieldwork, it examines the largest student evangelical group at each university in order to understand in depth the relationship between the student evangelical group and the university which it aims to convert. Meeting Jesus at University offers an original contribution to the discussion of Rites of Passage, examining what is experienced at university and how university breaks down and remoulds young people. It explores why student evangelicals are so active, particularly at Britain and America's most prestigious and identity-challenging institutions meaning that students at these places are the most likely to find themselves meeting Jesus at university.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The corridor where Jesus lived; Re-converting at Oxford; 'The course Caribbean nations take will partly depend on us'; 'Trial by fire' at universities in the USA; The 'Christian' ceilidh; 'We're just ordinary students who are also Christians'; Trying to find the core; Why Jesus chose that corridor; Bibliography; Index.

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Edward Dutton, Guest Lecturer, Oulu University, Finland.


'The significance of student Christian groups for the spiritual development of young adults is widely acknowledged, and here Dr Edward Dutton explores the nature of their influence and the way in which this connects with other aspects of university life. A major strength of this work is its international perspective, drawing on ethnographic research from six different locations around the world. The combination of individual stories with discussion of wider methodological issues in the study of religion provides invaluable understandings of the nature of student Christian societies as well as offering social scientists new tools with which to reflect on a little understood aspect of university life'. John Drane, author of The McDonaldization of the Church 'This comparative and international study touches the heart of religious identity as shaped by social class, life-contexts that hinder or foster maturity, and by the actual nature of each university. Pivoting around anthropological ideas of liminality in rites of passage it describes different kinds of uncertainty surrounding younger adults as they may move away from home, encounter religious groups and begin to develop a sense of life's meaning. It seeks to offer an Applied Anthropology that may feed back into evangelical groups and the way they believe they Meet Jesus at University.' Douglas Davies, Durham University, UK 'Meeting Jesus at University is one of the rare books that will be influential both for the academic anthropological community and that of the practising Christian. This book will also be an essential text for those who seek to develop Christianity in universities, giving them a better understanding of why particular types of approach will be more or less successful depending on the nature of the academic institution. I highly recommend this book as both an engaging and informative contribution.' Seth D Kunin, Durham University, UK ’[Dutton's] conclusions are set out with careful anal