Religious Conversion and Disaffiliation: Tracing Patterns of Change in Faith Practices

Religious Conversion and Disaffiliation: Tracing Patterns of Change in Faith Practices

by H. Gooren

Paperback(1st ed. 2010)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349289110
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 10/18/2010
Edition description: 1st ed. 2010
Pages: 181
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x (d)

About the Author

Henri Gooren is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He is the author of Rich among the Poor: Church, Firm, and Household among Small-Scale Entrepreneurs in Guatemala City (1999) and has written numerous articles, mostly dealing with various religions in Latin America.

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction The Appeal of Conversion 1

A Hothead in a Disordered World 1

The Conversion Career 3

A Resurgence of Religion? 5

Secularization, Globalization, and Transnational Religion 6

The Religious Perspective: Distinguishing Form and Function 8

Conversion in Christianity 10

Conversion and the Religious Organization 11

Conversion and Disaffiliation in Modern Fiction 15

Methodology and Caveats 16

Aim and Structure of the Book 18

1 Approaches to Conversion 19

Introduction 19

William James: Conversion as the Healing of a Divided Self 20

Lofland and Stark: The Original Process Model of Conversion 22

Travisano: Conversion as the Disruption of Identity 24

Straus: Active Conversions by Religious Seekers 25

Greil: A Socialization-and-Social-Networks Approach to Conversion 26

Heirich: Conversion as a Paradigm Shift 27

Bromley and Shupe: A Role Theory of Conversion and Commitment 28

Long and Hadden: Conversion and Commitment as Specific Types of Socialization 29

Snow and Machalek: The Convert Role Within a Specific Universe of Discourse 30

Richardson: Paradigm Conflict between Active and Passive Conversion Approaches 33

Rational Choice Conversion Models: Gartrell and Shannon, Stark and Finke 35

Rambo: A Holistic, Interdisciplinary, and Open Process Model of Conversion 37

A Critique of Conventional Conversion Approaches 40

2 The Conversion Career 43

The Need for a New Approach to Conversion 43

The Bias of Scholarly Discipline 45

Synthesizing Conventional Conversion Approaches 46

The Conversion Career 48

The Methodology of the Conversion Career Approach 52

3 Conversion and the Religious Market 53

Introduction 53

The Micro-Level: The Rationalist Actor 54

The Meso-Level: The Competitive Religious Organization 56

The Macro-Level: The Religious Economy and the Religious Market 59

The Religious Market Model and Conversion 63

Conclusion: Connecting Religious Demand and Supply 65

4 Stories of Conversion and Disaffiliation 69

Introduction 69

Parental Religion 70

Seekers and Shoppers 77

Committed Converts 86

Confessing Leaders 96

Disillusioned Disaffiliates 102

Conclusion 110

5 Conversion Careers in Latin America 115

Introduction 115

Pentecostal Conversion Careers in Latin America 116

Charismatic Catholic Conversion Careers in Latin America 120

Mormon Conversion Careers in Latin America 122

Pentecostal Disaffiliation 124

Mormon Disaffiliation 125

Catholic Disaffiliation 126

Conclusion 127

6 Conclusion 131

Introduction 131

Conversion and the Religious Organization 131

The Converting Subject 135

Levels and Patterns of Religious Activity 136

The Religious Factor in Conversion 138

General Conclusions and Recommendations 140

Notes 143

References 157

Index 171

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