Faculty Publications

Publication Date



Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology


This article discusses Crane’s research in a Taiwanese Buddhist monastery. Crane came to the field as a former Catholic, which provided a particular lens through which to perceive the phenomena she researched. Beyond the difficulties of having one's research interests misinterpreted by the community one is researching and the ambiguities that result from remaining open to conversion when studying religious communities, Crane examines the further difficulty confronted when researching religious personnel who have an interest in representing their religious ideals both to and through the researcher. The article examines Crane’s time in the Buddhist monastery and explores her personal ambivalence about her own religious sentiments while in the field. She argues that fieldwork conducted among missionaries is laden with unique difficulties and ethical ambiguities that highlight and exaggerate issues that arise in a variety of fieldwork contexts.

Document Type

Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.


This material is still protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute, or reprint.

Original Citation

Hillary K. Crane
Flirting with conversion: negotiating researcher non-belief with missionaries.
In Missionary impositions: conversion, resistance, and other challenges to objectivity in religious ethnography, edited by Hillary K. Crane and Deana L. Weibel
2013, pages 11-23, Lexington Books: Lanham, MD



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.