Telling Lives: Trauma-Recovery and Christian-Conversion Narratives
Journal of Religion and Abuse
Conversion and trauma narratives are testimonies to lived and interpreted experience. In the public narration of highly individualized and personal experience, both born-again believers and sex-abuse survivors speak about the transformation of self and relationships, and their orientation to the world. In both cases, the telling is an integral part of the process of self-reconstruction and reconstitution. While traditional conversion and recoverynarratives represent distinct narrative forms, the lines between them are becoming increasingly blurry as people live out multiple identities; as evangelicalism and feminism continue to influence one another; and as women seek to overcome abuse, fear and isolation, and to find meaning and connectedness in their lives. This article examines the context and rhetoric of both testimonial forms. and the ways in which women's lived experience complicates the rhetorical analysis and better represents their multiple and complex identities.