Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 22, No 1 (2009)

‘Leaving the Fold’: Apostasy from Fundamentalism and the Direction of Religious Development

Raoul J. Adam
Issued Date: 17 Aug 2009


This article re-examines the direction of religious development in light of a study of apostasy from fundamentalism. An analysis of apostate narratives reveals evidence of a ‘sociocognitive conflict’ (Doise & Mugny 1984) that complicates the implicit teleology of traditional theories of religious development. The diverse trajectories produced by this interaction between sociocultural and cognitive influences prompts a fresh analysis of Gruber’s (1986) question concerning the direction of development - ‘Which way is up?’ I highlight the complex interaction between cultural and cognitive influences involved in apostasy from fundamentalism and provide support for Streib’s (2001, 2005) religious styles perspective (RSP) as a model for investigating multiple factors influencing the direction of religious development.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v22i1.42


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