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Aktuelles aus Theologie und Religionsforschung

New Book: Deconversion Revisited

Veröffentlicht am 8. Dezember 2021, 20:47 Uhr

 Streib, H., Keller, B., Bullik, R., Steppacher, A., Silver, C. F., Durham, M., Barker, S. B., & Hood Jr., R. W. (2022). Deconversion Revisited. Biographical Studies and Psychometric Analyses Ten Years Later. Brill Germany/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. https://doi.org/10.13109/9783666568688

This book is Open Access and available here.  

Abstract. Deconversion Revisited is the follow-up book to Deconversion (2009), which examined disengagement processes from a variety of religious backgrounds in the USA and in Germany. After more than ten years, 45 participants were reinterviewed with the Faith Development Interview (FDI).

With this new book we are revisiting the question of religious change after more than a decade since our original study on Deconversion (Streib, Hood, Keller, Csöff, & Silver, 2009). Back then, we were able to analyze the survey data of twelve hundred participants from the USA and Germany as well as conducting personal interviews with 272 of them. This previous study brought surprising findings to light such as the importance of ‘spirituality’ as self-description of deconverts, their considerably higher stages/styles in faith development, and the great variety of paths they took when migrating within the religious field. A variety we captured in a typology of four types in terms of how their searches were narrated: pursuit of autonomy, life-long quests and late revisions, barred from paradise, and finding a new frame of reference.

In this new book, we document how a selection of these stories continued. What has changed since the first interview? Are the deconverts still “more spiritual than religious”? How did their faith development continue? Does the typology of four types still fit? After more than ten years, we reinterviewed 45 participants from the original deconversion study with the Faith Development Interview (FDI). During the FDI the participants have shared their subjective retrospectives on their faith development and their lives for the second time now. This enables us to investigate changes in structures of faith development, as well as content and narratives. We explore the narrative identities of our participants by taking an in-depth perspective: We studied the development of ten selected longitudinal case studies that present the lifespan from early adulthood to old age. Thus the study published in this book is one of only a few longitudinal studies on deconversion in the past ten years. It demonstrates that deconversion is a dynamic biographical process that eventually has long-term, slowly changing causes and consequences.


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