Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Brian Wilson

Second Advisor

Caleb Ausbury


The purpose of this thesis is to discuss different ways to categorize conversion based on conversion motifs that were established by John Lofland and Norman Skonovd, as they were expressed in Lewis R. Rambo’s Understanding Religious Conversion. Conversion is discussed in general terms, as well as how this process would relate to and exemplify these conversion motifs. From the stories considered in this thesis, the intellectual notion of conversion is the most prevalent conversion motif in both analyses and self-identification. The stories used here are conversion stories that have happened within the United States over the latter half of the twentieth century as well. This time period emphasizes how people relate to conversion to Catholicism amidst Vatican II, while also acknowledging ever-increasing religious options prevalent in the United States. Conversion is understood as a human phenomenon, existing throughout human history, and the religious context is discussed in general terms, as well as how it relates to Catholicism. The most evident notion of conversion in the stories considered here for individuals that have experienced conversion in the United States was the intellectual notion.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted