Excavating the Significance of Nazareth Via the Church of the Nazarene

This project examines the role “Nazareth” plays in the ideology of the Church of the Nazarene. In the early days of the movement, Nazareth signifies a critique of Methodist bureaucratic lethargy. But in the movement’s latter history, Nazareth becomes a rallying point for the denomination’s members to live up to a broader commitment to Evangelical values, albeit with a distinctively Nazarene flare. For certain Nazareth is more than a name. It is a site for socialization and identity formation.

Research included three months of ethnographic research into an individual congregation, historical analysis of the Holiness movement, and use of a critical comparative scriptures methodology.

Forms of this work were presented at Claremont Graduate University’s 2010 Annual Field Research in Cultural Studies Conference, the Wesleyan Theological Society’s 2010 Annual Meeting, the 2011 Western Commission on the Study of Religion Annual Meeting, and the Society of Biblical Literature’s 2011 Annual Meeting.