Searching for Heaven in the Real World

A Sociological Discussion of Conversion in the Arab World

By Kathryn Ann Kraft

Searching for Heaven in the Real World

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781620329061
  • Pages: 168
  • Publication Date: 2/24/2013
  • Retail Price: $22.00
Web Price: $17.60
Web Price: $17.60

Searching for Heaven in the Real World

A Sociological Discussion of Conversion in the Arab World

By Kathryn Ann Kraft

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781620329061
  • Pages: 168
  • Publication Date: 2/24/2013
  • Retail Price: $22.00
Web Price: $17.60

About-

Searching for Heaven in the Real World: A Sociological Discussion of Conversion in the Arab World

While adjusting to a new identity is akin to adjusting to a new set of skin, even more difficult is realising that this new skin may not be as comfortable or as pleasant as the old one. In Searching for Heaven in the Real World, Kathryn Kraft explores the breadth of psychological and societal issues faced by Arab Muslims after making a decision to adopt a faith in Christ or Christianity, investigating some of the most surprising and significant challenges new believers face. Arab Muslims arrive at a point of new faith with great expectations. With such high hopes for what they will experience in their new identity, they are bound to encounter a reality that is different. They need to invest a great deal of emotional energy in addressing their expectations and what they actually encounter. Even so, those who stay the course of faith usually hold on to their dreams, believing that heaven is not only for the afterlife but it is for the real world as well.

Endorsements & Reviews-

Kathryn Kraft has collected some very rich, personal data that is very difficult to obtain and has treated it sensitively in her writing. She contextualises the issues in a distinctive and interesting way, relating the issues to not just their Arab/Muslim context, but also to some of the intellectual challenges involved in the study. In this respect she draws interestingly on some feminist
methodologies and argues that there are parallels between her work and feminism in relation to issues to do with commitment, advocacy and the objectivity of social science. The book will be of academic interest in the sociology and anthropology of religion, amongst Muslims as well as Christians and amongst those interested in inter-faith encounters and, of course, conversion.
Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol

This book should be required reading for academics who study conversions to Islam but can't bring themselves to believe that conversion from Islam to the Christian faith can and does happen. It should also be a 'must' for Christians who believe that they have a mission to the House of Islam - especially in the Arab world. While Kraft' s approach is basically sociological, she enables readers to enter into the worldview of Muslims in a very sympathetic and holistic way. Christians engaged in mission will very soon be faced with the challenge: do they have any idea of what it might mean in practice when Muslims are attracted to the person of Jesus and want to follow him in any way? The title sums up perfectly the contents of the book; and while it has all the rigour of
an academic thesis, the material has been thoroughly digested and is presented with a lightness of touch that makes the whole book extremely readable.
Rev Colin Chapman, formerly lecturer in Islamics Studies, Near East School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon

Contributors-

Kathryn Ann Kraft

Bio(s)-

Kathryn Kraft has lived and worked in various Arab countries since 2001. She has a MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bristol, England. She has worked in a variety of fields including research, peace and reconciliation, emergency relief and social development. In all her work, she has sought to find and tell great stories.

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