Developing an Autobiographical Elicitation Methodology to Explore Lived Religion among Evangelical Christians Working in Healthcare in England


  • Jennifer Riley University of Aberdeen



Qualitative Methods, Lived Religion, Healthcare, Semi-structured interviewing, Autobiographical Elicitation, Elicitation, Narrative Turn, Evangelicalism


This article describes the rationale behind and development of a novel methodological combination of autobiographical reflection and semi-structured interviewing. The resulting “autobiographical elicitation” methodology was first used for a recent study of the relationship between work and faith as experienced by evangelical medics working in the National Health Service (NHS) in England. The article argues that autobiographical elicitation successfully fulfilled aims of facilitating lived religion research and generating qualitative data which was directed by what research participants deemed important and meaningful, while remaining conducive to comparative analysis. It also alleviated concerns regarding the limited reflection time offered by semi-structured interviews in isolation, and offered busy participants welcomed convenience and flexibility. The article concludes, therefore, that autobiographical elicitation is a promising methodological combination for lived religion researchers, and more broadly for those keen to generate rich qualitative insights in partnership with busy participants.


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Author Biography

Jennifer Riley, University of Aberdeen

Dr Jennifer Riley is a qualitative researcher exploring religion and ritual in the contemporary British context, including amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Her PhD drew upon research interests in evangelical Christianity and lived religion in the workplace.


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How to Cite

Riley, J. (2022). Developing an Autobiographical Elicitation Methodology to Explore Lived Religion among Evangelical Christians Working in Healthcare in England. Fieldwork in Religion, 17(2), 145–164.