2017-2018 Grant in Aid of Research

Being Maya, Being Adventist: A Grounded Theory of Seventh-day Adventism among the K’iche’ Maya People of the Municipality of Chichicastenango in the Guatemalan Highlands

Benjamin M. Bonilla López

The proposed study will seek to explore the concept of ‘belonging’ among Seventh-day Adventist K’iche’ Maya church members of the Guatemalan highlands in the municipality of Chichicastenango. The purpose of the present research is to describe, based on the interplay between the data collected from the participant’s narratives through interviews and observations and the researcher’s theoretical framework, what it means for these church members to be both K’iche’ Maya and Seventh-day Adventists. The methodological approach to be applied for the collection and analysis of data is that of a Constructivist Grounded Theory. Consequently, as proposed by the Constructivist Grounded Theory methodological approach, it is believed that the voice of participants will give way to emergent themes–brought forth by the researcher’s analysis of interviews and observations, these emerging themes, which will be eventually developed into theoretical categories, will thus guide the researcher to explore how these emergent categories describe the interplay between culture and religion that takes place among the Adventist church members of Chichicastenango. After the analytical process is finished and the emergent themes are developed into categories, it is expected that the researcher will be able to develop a culturally relatable missional model for presenting the Seventh-day Adventist belief system to the K’iche’ Maya people living in the Guatemalan municipality of Chichicastenango.