‘Leaving the fold’: apostasy from fundamentalism and the direction of religious development
Adam, RJ 2009, '‘Leaving the fold’: apostasy from fundamentalism and the direction of religious development', Australian Religion Studies Review, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 42-63.
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.