Questions about Religious Disaffiliation/De-conversion

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Questions about Religious Disaffiliation/De-conversion

#1  Postby sørendipitous » May 03, 2014 7:13 pm

Hey folks. I'm a grad student studying psychology and sociology of religion. Right now I'm working on a term paper and would really like to use some insights from the experiences of others. I'm trying to get a sense of what it is like for those who identify as nonreligious or secular and, in so doing, have needed to 'disaffiliate' from their religious traditions and/or 'de-convert' from their religious faiths. As for myself (if you're curious): I was raised in an evangelical Christian tradition and became increasingly sincere and involved in it through most of my teen years, but through my studies and trying to cope with some issues in college, became agnostic. Nowadays I am also comfortable calling myself atheistic (with respect to the classic Abrahimic conception of God). Anyway, try to answer as many of the questions below as well as you can. But please don't feel constrained by the wording. Respond however and with whatever feels salient and appropriate. Thanks so much. Let me know if you have questions.

(R/S = “religious and/or spiritual”)

1. What was your former R/S identification or affiliation? Describe your involvement, commitment, and anything else that seems relevant.
2. With what ideas, outlooks, worldviews, organizations, movements, etc. do you most closely identify now?
3. What do you believe led to the transition? Are you still transitioning?
4. How would you describe your experience of that transition?
5. Would you say your experience as religious/spiritual or in becoming secular was traumatic in any way? How so?
6. What have been the most significant gains and losses resulting from this transition?
7. During and since the transition, how have you related to your former R/S tradition and to those you have known or met who remain in it?
8. How do you view the R/S leaders you have had in your life? R/S leaders generally?
9. What are the most significant advantages of your current position or stance over your former R/S one(s) (and vice versa)?
10. What, if anything, have you kept (or tried to keep) after leaving? What have you left (or tried to leave) behind?
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