By Giordan, Guiseppe Giordan
This book's chapters verify the character of conversion and current facts on particular convertion forms, studies, and theories together with such subject matters as heroes, semiotics, new cities, pilgrimages, the recent Age, kinfolk between Catholics, Afro-Brazilians, and Protestants in Brazil, re-conversionist pursuits, Soka Gakkai, and the LDS church.
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Additional resources for Conversion in the Age of Pluralism (Religion and the Social Order)
Religion clearly participates in a dialectic with the collective ideas and values prevalent in a given time and place. 6 Churches would be identical with or coincide with their host societies, culturally if not organizationally. 5 Blumer () used the expression collective behavior to refer to mindless and minded behavior both, and in defense of his usage it can be noted that much collective activity involves elements of both. 6 There are, of course, other types. Troeltsch () added mysticism to church and sect.
What is worthy of emulation can be stipulated in ways that relate to sociology, notably in the case of Weber’s notion of office charisma. These two strands of spirituality operate in competition (Flanagan and Jupp ) but with implications for how sociology is to understand conversion. Unlike the case of holistic spirituality, ecclesial forms of spirituality make definite demands on the convert. He is required to move across boundaries, from unbelief to belief, from affiliations treated as insecure to those designated as secure and from forms of spirituality treated as untrustworthy to those deemed trustworthy.
We then explored the kinds of religious phenomena that arise within the ten layers or realms of social reality that Gurvitch suggests, often finding the potential for engendering conversion within them. However, the aligning of events across layers seemed to be the most intriguing approach to conversion. We examined two cases of conversion—one of them looking at a group situation and one of them the conversion of an individual. In the case of the group study, that of the Vineyard congregations, the use of social layers in the manner of Gurvitch for purposes of interpretation enabled us to see the pattern of late adolescent management of peer material culture and family values being preserved in the kind of church to which the converts turn.