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Document Details :
Title: Reflections on Conversion
Author(s): ROBERTS, Nancy
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 21 Date: 2011
This essay sets out to explore and clarify the factors that influence how we view the process referred to as ‘conversion’. After describing this process from a personal, experiential perspective, the essay explores the various meanings of the term ‘conversion’. It then treats the phenomenon of conversion as viewed in light of social, intellectual and psychological motivations, and lastly, how one’s view of religious conversion varies depending on whether one views religious truth from an exclusivist, inclusivist, or pluralist perspective. The underlying thesis of the essay is that, despite the undeniable doctrinal differences between the major religious systems of the world - with an emphasis in my case on the sister faiths of Islam and Christianity - there are, nevertheless, ways of understanding their truth claims, and ways of viewing truth itself that can serve not only to reduce the perceived conflict between them, but, in addition, lead to a sense of their being complementary to one another. What I have to say on the themes outlined above reflects a way of understanding the relationship between my home faith (Christianity), my faith by adoption (Islam), and other faiths that views them all, complete with their seemingly incongruent belief systems, as being equally in the service of a single Ultimate.