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Feeling Muslim: Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam

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In contrast to studies of identity formation of converts to Islam that do not attempt to analyze experiences and acknowledge emotions within different stages of the conversion process, evidence from this mixed-methods study of American female
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    FEELING MUSLIM  : PROLEGOMENA TO THE STUDY OF AMERICAN FEMALE CONVERTS TO ISLAM by KARLA NICOLE EVANS (With the Direction of Alan Godlas) ABSTRACT In contrast to studies of identity formation of converts to Islam that do not attempt to analyze experiences and acknowledge emotions within different stages of the conversion process, evidence from this mixed-methods study of American female converts to Islam reveals: 1) some converts distinguish between outwardly becoming/being  Muslim at the time of conversion to Islam and  feeling Muslim; 2) some of the key factors in the development of  feelings of  Muslimness  (as identified by 257 U.S. female converts); 3) the greater the degree of key factors, the more rapidly the  feelings of Muslimness  develop, and the lesser the degree of key factors, the more slowly the  feelings of Muslimness develop, if at all; 4) additional significant issues related to  feelings of Muslimness  are the degree to which such feelings differ in public and private settings, the extent to which the feelings are esoterically and/or exoterically based, and 5) what  feeling  Muslim means to American female converts to Islam. INDEX WORDS: Feeling Muslim, Conversion studies, American female converts to Islam, U.S. female converts to Islam, Islam in America, American Muslims, U.S. Muslims, African-American Muslims, Latina Muslims, Hispanic Muslims, Muslim Americans, Religious Conversion, Conversion to Islam, Conversion as transition, Conversion as transformation, Religious transformation, Spiritual transformation, Being and becoming, Identity formation, Identity cultivation, Conversion Process, American Muslim communities, U.S. Muslim communities, U.S. female Muslim convert support, American female convert support, Unmosqued, Islamophobia    Feeling Muslim : Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam Copyright © 2015 by Karla N. Evans, UGA. All Rights Reserved. FEELING MUSLIM  : PROLEGOMENA TO THE STUDY OF AMERICAN FEMALE CONVERTS TO ISLAM by KARLA NICOLE EVANS B.A., the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2005 A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Georgia in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree MASTER OF ARTS ATHENS, GEORGIA 2015    Feeling Muslim : Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam Copyright © 2015 by Karla N. Evans, UGA. All Rights Reserved. © 2015 Karla Nicole Evans All Rights Reserved    Feeling Muslim : Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam Copyright © 2015 by Karla N. Evans, UGA. All Rights Reserved. FEELING MUSLIM  : PROLEGOMENA TO THE STUDY OF AMERICAN FEMALE CONVERTS TO ISLAM by KARLA NICOLE EVANS Major Professor: Alan A. Godlas Committee: Kenneth Lee Honerkamp Sandy Dwayne Martin Carolyn Jones Medine Electronic Version Approved: Julie Coffield Interim Dean of the Graduate School The University of Georgia May 2015   v Feeling Muslim : Prolegomena to the Study of American Female Converts to Islam Copyright © 2015 by Karla N. Evans, UGA. All Rights Reserved. DEDICATION ي حَرلا   ن ْحَرلا   هّ   س  Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clearly from error; whoever rejects evil and has faith in God hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things . (Qur’an 2:256)  
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