American Messianic Jewish Identity Development: A Grounded Theory Study
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Though the study of intersectionality has increased in the field of psychology over the past 15 years, the intersection of religious and ethnic identities has received little empirical attention. This grounded theory study explored the religious and ethnic intersectionality experiences of Messianic Jews. Messianic Jews are people who are ethnically Jewish, believe Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) is the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God, and consider themselves to be living within the framework of the Torah (Kollontai, 2004). A collection of 19 American Messianic Jewish autobiographical stories and the transcripts from eight semi-structured interviews with American Messianic Jewish adults were analyzed using grounded theory qualitative methods. The resulting theory proposes that Messianic Jews construct and maintain their identity through (a) meaningful experiences that support and validate their identity, (b) meaningful relationships that give a sense of group identity and belonging, and (c) meaningful reasons that give logical, theological, and historical justification for their identity. This study also found that Messianic Jews can struggle in these three areas when there is a lack of support or outright rejection of their identity.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Manuscript -- Appendix A. Recruitment Script -- Appendix B. Consent for Participation in a Research Study -- Appendix C. Demographic Form -- Appendix D. Interview Protocol