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

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Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Students at top Canadian universities answered questionnaires to determine if they were amazing<-->meaning they were raised with one set of beliefs but changed their views radically later in life. The chosen candidates were then interviewed to determine what led them to made their life-changing choices. Many first-person accounts from these interviews are included, as well as a section for readers to test their own beliefs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573921473
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
1 Normal People 9
2 Interviews with the Amazing Apostates 38
3 An Analysis of the Amazing Apostate Cases 105
4 Interviews with the Amazing Believers 127
5 An Analysis of the Amazing Believer Cases 188
6 A Comparison of Amazing Apostates and Amazing Believers 208
7 Our Findings in a Broader Context 223
8 Further Studies on Related Matters 241
References 255
Appendix A Interview Schedule for Amazing Apostates 261
Appendix B Interview Schedule for Amazing Believers 265
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2000

    Save Your Money

    I bought this book expecting something insightful and new. What I found, however, were short, anecdotal tales of young people who had either gone from no religion to a religion or vice versa. None of the people interviewed had been a believer or non-believer more than a few years. Their reasons for conversion were vague and primarily emotional in content. The book also does not have any interviews with people who chose any religion other than Christianity. What of all those women embracing Islam and students who turn to Buddhism? I was so disappointed with this book I threw it away when I was done, and I have never done that before.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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