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3 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2010 - 2:18PM #1
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

Hi folks,


Since this forum is about changing faiths, you might be interested in Project Conversion. Basically, for the whole of 2011, I will "convert" to one religion per month for the year. All of my experiences with each faith will be chronicled at www.projectconversion.com via photos, blog, and video.


Also cool is the Convert's Corner section. This is where folks like you can share your conversion or aposty stories with the world through text or even a short video!


If you like what you see, there are ways to support the journey. Entries for Convert's Corner, donations made on Kickstarter, and also volunteering as a spritual Mentor for one of the faiths are three ways to make this communal project a success and blessing to all.


So come on over and if you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Peace,


 


Andrew Bowen

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2010 - 10:33PM #2
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Maybe you can explain to me how living a religion for a month really teaches you anything about it, considering people spend their entire lives learning about their religions and they often don't uncover half of what there is to learn. 


 


 


Sounds more like a publicity stunt than anything else.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2010 - 11:08PM #3
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

I was always under the impression that the act of converting was considerably powerful, and required a very basic paradigm shift in the individual. One would need to adopt the world view of the faith the were converting to, and begin to see the world from that perspective. So I agree with SG's criticism (about the short length of time) and add one of my own:


If you are nonchalantly planning on converting to different religions (and really, while I have a great deal of respect for the original purpose of the Church of the FSM, Pastafarianism isn't an actual religion. If you want to go with a modern and wholly "oddball" religion, then I'd suggest [ur=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism]Discodrianism[/url]), you'll be doing so without earnestness and honesty, because you won't actually be adopting those world views. It comes across as a terribly shallow means.


If, however, you were simply going to practice a different religion for a month, for the duration of a year, then that would be an interesting project. The use of "conversion" is what I find problematic, as for all intents and purposes, you will not actually be converting to any of those religions.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2010 - 8:41AM #4
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

Thanks for taking the time to reply!


I understand your reservations here, however if one took the time to poke around the site and watch the video, you'd see that I address these very issues. This project is about reintroducing the selected faiths to folks on a human level. After I've introduced the faiths, it's up to the individual to delve deeper.


The irony here is that the Mentors (practicioners of each faith that will instruct me) I've picked up so far are extremely supportive of this initiative. By representing each faith in a non-threatening and accessable way, perhaps I can do a smal part in soothing the religious violence that exists today simply because of a lack of understanding.


As for a publicity stunt, not sure how that one works.


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Pastafarianism was selected for two reasons: 1) comedic relief. Let's face it, this will be a long year. 2) because Pastafarianism arose from a social conflict (the use of Intelligent Design in the classroom). Many religions form out of a need to challenge the social norms of the day. Also, what began as a spoof is now a vibrant movement. Pastafarianism then becomes a modern study of how faiths and philosophies form.


I appreciate your questions and welcome any comments or suggestions. As I said, this is a learning experience and one that involves the audience to thrive and be effective.


Oh, and the "converting" reference. I will in fact practice the tenents of each faith as closely as possible for the month and will do so from a new convert's point of view. Such a route might dispell misconceptions about a particular faith and perhaps give someone who is thinking about converting to said faith some insight on what they can expect to experience during the process.


Again, I'd enjoy the company of folks such as you in this huge undertaking. Thanks for your comments and peace.


Andrew Bowen

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2010 - 9:01AM #5
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Well, you are already butching the Wicca, so I don't have a lot of hope for you. If you were just explaining the basics of certain religions, that would be one thing, but a month into learning about Wicca, dedicants still don't know anything.  And I can assume it is the same for the other religions.


So this is just offensive all the way around. Spend a year.  Maybe that would teach you something.  At this point, you'll learn just enough to be dangerous.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2010 - 9:09AM #6
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

Not sure how I'm butchering anyone. I will adopt the practices of my Mentors (my Wiccan Mentor is of the Fey community), and so will offer my audience a taste of each faith.


And if my documentary/experiences instill an attitude of curiosity instead of animosity toward other faiths, or helps nuture a society in which religion is discussed and cherished for its diversity rather than fought over makes me dangerous, then I more than welcome that odd moniker.


Thanks again for keeping the discussion open!

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 12:02PM #7
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

The problem I am having here is that there is more to religious beliefs than going through the paces. 


 


What is done by the practitioners of each faith is done because it is their ways of honoring their gods.  A member of the Jewish faith will keep kosher not because Jews keep kosher, but as a way of honoring the covenant between them and their god. 


 


I think what is proposed will give you an idea of the actions that people go through, but not the actually feelings that a person, especially a person who has converted to these faiths, will feel.
As such you're not going to have more than a superficial understanding.  I think that is the objection you are seeing here. The objection that you would actually be "converting".  You're just studying.  You may learn the tenants of Asatru, and how the person who claims Asatru is likely to act, but unless you are true to the gods, you will not be Asatru.  That is what seperates what you are doing from that of the "convert". 


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 12:47PM #8
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

While I fully understand your position on this, I think you've misunderstood a great deal. Project Conversion is a documentary-style initiative that introduces faiths from a new convert's point of view. The fact that I am not a "full convert" is implied and you two are actually the first and only folks who don't seem to be able to reconcile the means I am using for the end. That end being a way to nurture discussion and curiosity about faith rather than fighting over it. What's interesting is that even here, on a site that ostensibly projects itself as an interfaith hub, a project that encourges such interfaith dialog is met with resistance.  


Of the five Mentors I've gained so far, all are very excited about participating in this project because they see it as an opportunity to showcase their faith through teaching me. Through these Mentors my audience will see nuances about each faith rarely seen elsewhere, i.e. family events, communal worship, practices in the home, difficulties of lifestyle change, etc. I will fully subject myself to these events to show what it's like to be a new convert. It combines the objective with the subjective. One of the biggest fears of a new convert to any faith is the perception of others, say family or friends, once they make such a life change. Because I will take on the role of convert in effigy, this will give folks a taste of what they might expect.


You are correct in that a conversion experience for a "legit" convert and my own are quite different, but then again that isn't what this is about. Again, I am introducing these faiths at an accessible level to folks who are ready for something a little more organic than the often stuffy documentary on History Channel.


I encourage you to visit the site and follow the progress. You may be pleasently surprized at what you see. Or maybe not. Your opinion is yours, but the benefit of Project Conversion belongs to those whose lives this initiative has already touched.


Peace and thanks again for commenting,


Andrew Bowen

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 1:13PM #9
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Nov 8, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Andrewbowen wrote:


While I fully understand your position on this, I think you've misunderstood a great deal. Project Conversion is a documentary-style initiative that introduces faiths from a new convert's point of view. The fact that I am not a "full convert" is implied and you two are actually the first and only folks who don't seem to be able to reconcile the means I am using for the end. That end being a way to nurture discussion and curiosity about faith rather than fighting over it. What's interesting is that even here, on a site that ostensibly projects itself as an interfaith hub, a project that encourges such interfaith dialog is met with resistance. 



 


While I  admit that I often misunderstand a great deal, I respectfully propose that you do not fully understand my position.  While I am sure that you make it well known that you are not a "full convert", I submit that the issue that I am finding is not that you are not a "full convert" but that you are not a "full convert". 


 


While you may be able to learn about, and gain insight to the workings of a faith in an impartial manner, you will not gain information from the "new converts" point of view. You will not gain this information because in fact, you lack the "new converts" perspective.  As you should, realistically. 


 


It's not really resistance to the idea, but an attempt to explain that there is more to a religious belief than just following the teachings, and without that something extra, you are really doing no more than contrasting and comparing the superficial acts and struggles of various groups. 


 


Nov 8, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Andrewbowen wrote:


Of the five Mentors I've gained so far, all are very excited about participating in this project because they see it as an opportunity to showcase their faith through teaching me. Through these Mentors my audience will see nuances about each faith rarely seen elsewhere, i.e. family events, communal worship, practices in the home, difficulties of lifestyle change, etc.



Of course they are!  I fail to see why a person would not want to educate. 


 


Nov 8, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Andrewbowen wrote:


I will fully subject myself to these events to show what it's like to be a new convert. It combines the objective with the subjective. One of the biggest fears of a new convert to any faith is the perception of others, say family or friends, once they make such a life change. Because I will take on the role of convert in effigy, this will give folks a taste of what they might expect.



 


Respectfully, I don't think you are capable.  Yes, one of the fears that a new convert to any faith may have is the perception of others.  However, they still do it because of the driving factor behind it.  Not only do you not have this driving force, but after the 3rd or 4th time that you convert, even if you haven't informed your family and friends what you are doing, they are going to figure it out. 


 


Nov 8, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Andrewbowen wrote:


You are correct in that a conversion experience for a "legit" convert and my own are quite different, but then again that isn't what this is about. Again, I am introducing these faiths at an accessible level to folks who are ready for something a little more organic than the often stuffy documentary on History Channel.



 


You're terminology is misleading.  You're desire to explore new faiths is admirable, but you're not selling what you'er promising.  You're not capable. 


 


 


all



Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 1:47PM #10
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

I think the issue is that people don't convert because they think it would be neat, and want to be educated about the teachings of a specific faith. 


 


They convert because an event, or chain of events have happened in their lives to make them believe in the deities about which the faith revolves. 


 


You're getting the cart before the horse.  It's admireable that you are expressing a sincere desire to learn, and to show others the practices of certian faiths, but you're not a convert, full, partial, or otherwise. 


 


all

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