Journal Article

Honoring the Journey: The Wayward Paths of Conversion in the Catholic Worker and Camphill Movements

Dan McKanan

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 74, issue 4, pages 926-953
Published in print December 2006 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfl002
Honoring the Journey: The Wayward Paths of Conversion in the Catholic Worker and Camphill Movements

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Recent scholarship on religious conversion has challenged the widespread perception that most converts experience a dramatic, instantaneous transformation akin to Saint Paul’s experience on the Damascus road. This essay builds on this scholarship by exploring the conversions of people who experienced a change of spiritual affiliation in the context of their participation in an intentional community affiliated with either the Catholic Worker or the Camphill movement. Drawing on participant observation and personal interviews, it argues that conversion for Catholic Workers and Camphillers is more often a wayward journey than a flash of light. Individual participants may discover a new religious identity or rediscover their roots while living in community, but most often the community itself encourages them to engage in ongoing experimentation and discovery over the course of a lifetime.

Journal Article.  11622 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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