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Faith Development, Religious Styles and Biographical Narratives: Methodological Perspectives

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Abstract Narrative study of religious lives has formed part of numerous projects at the Bielefeld Research Center for Biographical Studies in Contemporary Religion. An essential instrument in our designs, which mostly combine qualitative and quantitative methods, is the Faith Development Interview (FDI). In response to longstanding criticism its cognitive structural framework has been revised in respect of styles and schemata. The religious styles perspective examines the self as articulated in narratives and associates it with affectivity and emotion. This article gives an overview of our theoretical and methodological revisions, which take cognizance of current developments in lifespan developmental and clinical psychology such as attachment, mentalization and wisdom. We illustrate the implementation of these advances with a case study from our current study of ‘spirituality’, 1 which we locate in the complex multi-method design, and outline the triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data.

Affiliations: 1: ; 2:


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