College: the four (sometimes five, and even the occasional six)-year journey of discovery. Beyond our burning desire to learn about Bakhtin's poetics of the novel, the Cuban missile crissis, mitosis and meiosis, and the conjugations of the Spanish subjunctive, one question in particular pervades and lingers, driving each student to ask him/herself, "Who am I?"
One voice - at times audible but more often imperceptible - responds to this question of identity with: "I am a Christian." It is a voice unbound by ethnicity, gender, year (age), upbringing and scoial class. This project, then, looks behind that voice on both an individual and a group level, focusing on the Christian organizations on campus and the students involved in them.
On a pragmatic note, Christianity becomes localized within specific social and cultural environments. In this particular setting, the context encompasses the university campus and the ethnically/racially affiliated student fellowships within it. Thus, the two main questions propelling my project are:
There are five Protestant Christian fellowships at the UR:
Ultimately, then, this is a study of Protestant Christian fellowships at a particular campus (the University of Rochester), and at a particular time (spring 1999). Thus this research captures the voices of these student communities, and of the individuals within them, who, without compromising their great diversity, are still able to say in a unified voice, "I am a Christian."