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November 2021

Off-road religion? A narrative approach to fundamentalist and occult orientations of adolescents

Journal/Book: J Adolescence. 1999; 22: 24-28 Oval Rd, London NW1 7DX, England. Academic Press Ltd. 255-267.

Abstract: Results of qualitative biographical research on Christian fundamentalist converts and de converts, and on occultist adolescents are presented and documented using case studies. Research focused on life themes and on biographical processes and transformations. Contrastive comparison of the cases resulted in typologies of Christian fundamentalist biographies and of ''ways of dis-enchantment''. These indicate that obligation to a tradition is no longer the model for religious socialization. Its competitors are biographical trajectories which can have the following characteristics: heresy is taken for granted, religious search is like an open life-style preference (accumulative heretic); ritual coping with life themes is predominant; and religious search follows the motive of sensation seeking. A typology of religious styles is applied as an interpretive framework for (a) explaining the formation of fundamentalist orientations and (b) understanding development and transformation in religious biographies.

Note: Article Streib H, Univ Bielefeld, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, GERMANY


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