Srdjan Sremac

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What is a conversion testimony? Why is a statement about conversion conceived as testimony? How do we know that persons who report conversion experiences are telling the truth? What are converts trying to achieve with their testimonies? These are the leading questions of this article. The first section discusses the hermeneutics of testimony and deals with the philosophical and theological understanding of the term. It summarizes Paul Ricoeur’s contributions to the philosophy of testimony. Building on my earlier research exploring the testimonial analysis of recovering drug addicts’ conversions, this article examines the validity, reliability, objectivity and other methodological challenges in the empirical study of religious conversion.

Key words: testimony, conversion, reliability, objectivity, epistemology of testimony, hermeneutics.


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