Amazing Conversions: Why Some Turn to Faith & Others Abandon Religion

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Prometheus Books, 1997 - Religion - 268 pages
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This groundbreaking study uncovers fascinating new data on sudden shifts in religious and nonreligious belief. Amazing Conversions explores, for the first time ever, the reasons why converts join, and apostates go. The focus of this absorbing study is on some amazing people, with unique stories to tell -- those who join a religious group in spite of being raised in nonreligious (or even antireligious) families, and those who, at great personal cost, choose to leave religion in spite of having a deeply religious background. Why would an atheist's son become a Christian fundamentalist? Why would a "good Catholic girl" decide that she really is an atheist?

The authors of Amazing Conversions -- both social psychologists -- surveyed thousands of young adults to find that small number who were "amazing believers" or "amazing apostates". These rare individuals tell their stories, which are supplemented by their responses to a detailed questionnaire. The resulting picture shows that amazing believers and amazing apostates are dramatically different groups of people, in spite of the fact that their lives now stand in opposition to previous (non)religious training. You, too, can complete the same questionnaire to learn more about yourself and your beliefs. Have you experienced an amazing conversion?

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Normal People
Interviews with the Amazing Apostates

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AAs and ABs accept Adam and Eve adolescence agnostic Altemeyer always Amazing Apostates Amazing Believers Anglican answers apostasy asked atheist attended church authoritarian authoritarian followers Baptist baptized became become more religious become religious began Bible Bible camp Birth Order blind faith born again bosom of Abraham came can't Catholic Catholic schools Catholicism cern chil Christian Orthodoxy scale Cronbach's alpha Delorean devil's advocate Diane didn't don't doubts dren elementary school ents ethnocentric ever go back existence of God faith family religion father feel felt Frieda friends fundamentalist gion gious go back go to church grades guilt or fear guilty Heather Hebrew school High RWAs high school Hindus home religion homosexuality However Hunsberger I've interviewer It's Ivan Jehovah's Witnesses Jesus Jewish Jews Judaism Lake Placid lives Lutheran church Mennonite mentalist mother myself never Nicene Creed nonreligious Orson parents particular church Pentecostal percent person phasis pray premarital sex priest problem of evil problems psychology of religion quartile questions questions about religion Quinella raised really reli religious beliefs Religious Emphasis Religious Emphasis scale Religious Fundamentalism religious teachings religious upbringing rience Right-Wing Authoritarianism road to Damascus Roman Catholic RWAs Santa Claus Satan scores sexism Sikh something started Sunday School talk tell Ten Commandments things thought Tower of Babel turn to religion Twenty Questions United Church University of Manitoba upbringing wasn't went Wilfrid Laurier University Xanthe younger self youth group

About the author (1997)


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