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Sara Rahmani


Accepting PhD Students

  • 0 Citations
  • 0 h-Index
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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. 


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

Meditation, New Religious Movements, Contemporary Spiritualities, Asian religions, Religious Conversion, Religious disengagement, Leaving Buddhism, Ethnography, Qualitative research methods, Narrative analysis, Hermeneutic inquiry.  


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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
meditation Social Sciences
linguistics Social Sciences
narrative Social Sciences
correctional institution Social Sciences
clinical psychology Social Sciences
Religion Arts & Humanities
language Social Sciences
addiction Social Sciences

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Research Output 2015 2019

  • 3 Chapter
  • 1 Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Converting to and Disengaging from Vipassana Movement

Rahmani, M., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Oxford Handbook of Meditation . Farias, M., Brazier, D. & Lalljee, M. (eds.). Oxford University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Leaving Vipassana Meditation

Rahmani, M., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Brill Handbook of Leaving Religion . Enstedt, D., Larsson, G. & Mantsinen, T. (eds.). Brill, Vol. (in press). p. (in press) 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Tacit Conversion: A Linguistic Analysis of a Vipassana Meditator’s Narrative of Self-Transformation

Rahmani, M., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Conversion and Lived Religion: Recovery, Imprisonment and Homelessness. . Sremac, S. & Jindra, I. (eds.). Brill, Vol. (in press). p. (in press) 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

correctional institution
clinical psychology

Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka.

Rahmani, M. & Pagis, M., 2015, World Religions and Spirituality Project. Bromley, D. G. (ed.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary