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» » Understanding Religious Conversion
Understanding Religious Conversion


Lewis R. Rambo


Understanding Religious Conversion


Religion & Spirituality

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1461 kb

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1868 kb

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1604 kb

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Yale University Press; First Edition edition (May 26, 1993)




Religious Studies



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Understanding Religious Conversion by Lewis R. Rambo

This book is both a scholarly enterprise and a personal journey into questions of how faith is possible in the modern world. What are the factors that make conversion viable for people? How do we explain different kinds of conversion? How (or perhaps why) do we evaluate the quality of a conversion? These and other questions haunt and provoke me in the quest to understand the phenomenon of religious conversion. This book builds upon readings in psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, missiology (as used by missionaries) and individual interviews.
Super interesting for people interested in evangelism.
Lewis Rambo presents chapters on various aspects of religious conversion, such as social context, religious experience, apostasy, and missionaries. Although he tries to cover many kinds of conversion, inluding intensifying commitment to neglected religious practices, he seems pre-occupied with conversion to monotheistic religions in colonial situations and modern American new religions. He strives to avoid controversy and say as little as possible of significance. For all that, his book is an adequate overview. The main disappointment with his book is the scarcity of studies and examples cited.
Personally, I would rather study conversion from the wider perspectives of general changes in religious experiences, commitments, and practices in many cultures. Reading this book, I concluded that the notion of conversion is meaningless in religious studies, one more projection from limited Western experiences onto inappropriate situations in other contexts. In short, I believe the topic is larger than Rambo's coverage. Yet his scholarship, methods and writing are adequate.

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