Community and identity among Arabs of a Muslim background who choose to follow a Christain Faith

  • Kathryn Ann Kraft

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

An increasing number of Muslims in the Arab world are being exposed to new ideas and questioning the beliefs of the community into which they were born. Several of these are choosing to embrace a Christian faith, a decision which can affect every aspect of their lives. Religious conversion usually entails a rejection of one's past: conversion out of Islam to a Christian faith can be construed by fellow Muslims as a betrayal not only of their religion, but also of family and of community. This thesis investigates the lives of converts from a Muslim background to a Christian faith, considering the strong social forces opposed to that decision. The difficulties of living as a religious convert in an Arab Muslim community can be understood in light of Arab cultural values which place community solidarity and reputation on a high level of importance. Muslim communal values, which usually have strong roots in the doctrines of unity and community, make apostasy from Islam especially problematic.
Date of Award2007
Original languageEnglish

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