In its most basic sense, the term "conversion" signifies a reversal, a change in direction. Yet the change or turnaround that is conversion has meant many different things in different cultures and across a wide range of discourses from logic to lyric poetry, theology to politics. This special issue explores the different inflections and connotations of "conversion." Topics include foundational questions about the nature of the self over time (continuous across a single life-narrative or cleaved in two by a momentous event); reconciliation with or a break from different social, religious, and political communities and relationships; the roles that introspection and exemplarity, the inner life and the lives of others, play in conversion; the rhetorical forms and linguistic grammars of conversion; the links between persuasion and conversion; the relationship of moral transformation and philosophical or religious vision; and the links between conversion and authority, between conversion and violence.
Contributors: David Aers, Sarah Beckwith, David R. Como, Michael Cornett, Andrew Escobedo, Lee Manion, Ryan McDermott, Nicolette Zeeman, James Wetzel