Everson, Kimberlee K. C. (in press, November 2018). Becoming religious disbelievers: Retrospective viewpoints. Pastoral Psychology. (doi: 10.1007/s11089-018-0849-6) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-018-0849-6)

Abstract: Religious disbelief has been increasing in the United States. Many studies have examined this phenomenon. This study examined the factors surrounding the transition to disbelief within a sample of 25 adults in the United States based on a conversion model proposed by Lewis Rambo. Using Q-sorting methodology, it was found that the experiences of these individuals, as viewed by the individuals themselves, fell into five groups. These groups reflected subjective beliefs about their experiences with the following different emphases on the processes and results of their deconversions: a new identity, a change in lifestyle and social groups, being in despair and wanting life to mean more, media questing, and mentored change. These results suggest that the experience of becoming a disbeliever is viewed by those having experienced it in various ways, though each of the five viewpoints reflect aspects of Rambo’s model.

Kimberlee K C Everson <kimberlee.everson@wku.edu> is in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY (USA).

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