Personal profile

Vision Statement

I’m fascinated by New Religious Movements, contemporary spiritualities, and Asian religions especially as they are received in non-Asian contexts. As an ethnographer, understanding peoples’ notions of themselves and their realities is at the heart of my academic endeavours. I use a combination of analytical frameworks (e.g., narrative, linguistic, and discourse analysis) to explore these phenomena. My previous research consolidated all these areas of interest: a narrative inquiry of the patterns of conversion and disengagement in Vipassana movement in New Zealand. My current project investigates the particularities of unbelief among non-religious practitioners of Mindfulness Meditation. 

Biography

After completing her B.A. Honours (2012) in Study of Religions at Bath Spa University in England, Sara travelled to New Zealand to begin her PhD. research at the University of Otago. She received joint supervision from the departments of Religion and Anthropology. Her doctorate dissertation, ‘Drifting through Samsara,’ gained an Exceptional Theses Award in 2017 Otago’s Division of Humanities. She intends to publish her thesis as a monograph. Sara joined the Brain, Belief and Behaviour group at the Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University, as Research Associate in July 2017.

Research Interests

New Religious Movements, Contemporary Spiritualities, Asian religions, Conversion and disengagement, Qualitative research methods, Narrative analysis, Hermeneutic inquiry.  

Keywords

  • BL Religion
  • New Religious Movements
  • Contemporary spiritualities
  • religious conversion and disengagement
  • Ethnography
  • Narrative analysis
  • qualitative research methods
  • Buddhism
  • Asian Religions
  • meditation