Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Studies) - MA (CSt)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Kristine Gritter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction


Spiritual formation; Yang, Gene Luen, 1973- . Boxers & saints; China—History—Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901; Christians—China; Persecution—China; Graphic novels—History and criticism; Young adult fiction—History and criticism; Comic books, strips, etc.—History and criticism


The thesis examines the spiritual development of young adult protagonists depicted in Boxers and saints by Gene Luen Yang using the framework of six spiritual components and the approach of critical content analysis. It shows that the six elements, journey, transcendence, community, religion, mystery of creation, and transformation, are involved regardless of different religions people are converted to. In addition, religions provide an avenue for spirituality to mature given that spirituality is an intrinsic and universal characteristic of human beings regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of them. Finally, spirituality is not superior to religions because of the two types of spirituality, pathological and mature.


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