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Annual Conference of the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

 

Theme: “East-West Encounters and Religious Change in Modernizing East Asia” July 27-28, 2019 

SAPPPORO 1266

 

 

 

Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

SESSION 4: NEW RELIGIONS 

  

Abstract - Raffaella Di MarzioSAPPORO 1326

Experiences of Affiliation to the Italian Soka Gakkai: An Analysis According to the Rambo et al. Integrated Model

 

This paper deals with the Rambo et al multidisciplinary theoretical framework on conversion. It studies the religious change using a heuristic stage model of conversion consisting of seven stages: context, crisis, quest, encounter, interaction, commitment, and consequences.

 

The Rambo et al. model serves as a framework for integrating the research of different approaches, providing a fuller understanding of the multilayered processes involved in conversion.

 

 

SAPPORO 1340

Applying this model to qualitative interviews to people affiliated to the IBSG (the Italian branch of Soka Gakkai), it is possible to show some data which seems partially to confirm the Rambo et al. theoretical framework. In particular, the decision to join the IBSG is an active, complex and dynamic process. It depends either on intrapsychic or interpersonal and social factors.

 

Moreover, the conversion is characterized by the peculiar aspects of the movement and the strategies used in order to gain followers. In conclusion, our underlying assumption is that conversion is a process of religious change that takes place in a dynamic force field involving people, institutions, events, ideas, and experiences. The study of conversion must take into account not only the personal dimension, but also the social, cultural, and religious dynamics in which a person is embedded.