This article focuses on the dilemmic nature of identity for challengers within organizations and on their emergent responses. It is based on ethnographic research of one affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, a group of Catholics that formed in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The abiding faith of the group and their commitment to change the church created a dilemma that encapsulates the central question of this article: how do challengers pursuing change of an institution balance commitment and critique, mainstream membership and otherness? Internal challengers manage these dilemmas by rescripting existing stories and telling novel ones to navigate group boundaries and formulate new understandings of their individual and collective pasts, presents, and futures. We trace the ways in which challengers work through contradictions and ambiguity in their emergent identities. This provides an opportunity to explore the existential dimensions of collective identity and focus on the processual nature of storytelling.

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