Special Issue "Apostasy and Other Forms of Leaving Religion"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 2542

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of the Comparative Study of Religion, University of Groningen, 9712 GK Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: non-religion; apostasy; sociology of religion; religious diversity; governance; urban religion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The study of variegated forms of non-religion is gaining traction in the social sciences, as the numbers of those who identify as non-religious grow steadily across many regions in the world. The focus of this Special Issue is on those non-religious persons who reject religion for good. Therefore, the attention is on those people who once belonged to a religious tradition—actively or nominally—and then left it to not join any new one.

More specifically, this Special Issue aims to address apostasy and other forms of leaving religion in contemporary societies from a wide variety of perspectives and thematic angles. Apostasy is not a new research topic. There have been studies on the individual trajectories of apostates in various religious traditions and in different geographical locations. However, in this Special Issue, attention is given not only to its individual dimension but also, and especially, to its social and political dimension. Some of the questions that this Special Issue will deal with are the following:

  • Individual stories, narratives, and identities: how do apostates narrate their individual process of leaving religion for good? How do they make sense of leaving religion and build their new identities?
  • Institutional and communal responses to apostasy: how do religious communities and institutions respond to individuals leaving religion? Which narratives do they build around them? How is exit facilitated or prevented?
  • Material and ritual aspects of religious exit: what are the material and visual aspects related to leaving religion? How is apostasy ritualized?
  • The political aspects of apostasy: what are the political meanings that apostasy acquires in different contexts? How does apostasy relate to other sociopolitical processes?

The aim of this Special Issue is to bring together empirical research to shed new light on contemporary forms of apostasy across religious traditions and geographical areas, their meanings and implications. In doing so, it will contribute to and advance the existing social scientific theories of apostasy.

Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • apostasy
  • leaving religion
  • non-religion
  • religious exit

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Investigating Attitudes toward Those Who Leave Religion among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Believers
Religions 2022, 13(8), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080682 - 26 Jul 2022
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Abstract
This study investigates the determinants of negative attitudes toward individuals who leave their religion, i.e., converts and apostates, among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim believers. Drawing on the literature from the study of religion and prejudice, we identify and test the explanatory power of [...] Read more.
This study investigates the determinants of negative attitudes toward individuals who leave their religion, i.e., converts and apostates, among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim believers. Drawing on the literature from the study of religion and prejudice, we identify and test the explanatory power of three dimensions of religiosity: religious practice, religious fundamentalism, and religious knowledge, while an alternative hypothesis focuses on the role of education. Our data is derived from a cross-sectional survey fielded among more than 8000 Christian, Jewish, or Muslim respondents in 7 countries. Using ordinary least squares regression analyses, we find that, across the three religious groups, both religious practice and religious fundamentalism are strongly associated with negative feelings toward converts and apostates. Although the effect of religious knowledge is negligible, educational attainment significantly predicts lower levels of unfavorable attitudes. We conclude by discussing some notable differences between the three religious groups and between the countries in which these groups and individuals are located. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apostasy and Other Forms of Leaving Religion)
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Article
A Faithful Journey: Following a Married Couple’s Religious Trajectory over the Adult Lifespan
Religions 2022, 13(8), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080673 - 25 Jul 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
This article addresses the question of how religious narrative identity and subjective religiosity change over the course of 15 years. The cases portrayed are deconverts who have changed their religious affiliations multiple times. It was carved out what led to their deconversion and [...] Read more.
This article addresses the question of how religious narrative identity and subjective religiosity change over the course of 15 years. The cases portrayed are deconverts who have changed their religious affiliations multiple times. It was carved out what led to their deconversion and what remains as a core of their faith after they have turned away from organized religion for good. Interviews were conducted at three time points and were analyzed using content analysis. It became clear that the needs and expectations of the two individuals differ highly, as well as the reasons for turning away from a religious community; yet, what could be identified as a common core in this joint faithful journey is their need to live their religiosity, now in a private setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apostasy and Other Forms of Leaving Religion)
Article
“I Have Apostatized”: Self-Narratives of Catholic Apostasy as Resources for Collective Mobilization in Argentina
Religions 2022, 13(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13020181 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Since 2009, the Collective Apostasy Campaign in Argentina has mobilized some people who are opposed to the political interference of the Catholic Church through the formal act of apostatizing. The politicization of sexual and reproductive rights, and, especially, the fight for the legalization [...] Read more.
Since 2009, the Collective Apostasy Campaign in Argentina has mobilized some people who are opposed to the political interference of the Catholic Church through the formal act of apostatizing. The politicization of sexual and reproductive rights, and, especially, the fight for the legalization of abortion, led to the campaign that acquired great public repercussions between 2018 and 2020. This paper analyzes 13 self-narratives of apostasy publicly available since 2009, digging into its plot, motives to apostatize, and motivation for its publicizing. Through a thematic analysis, the diverse self-narratives show similar motivations (to promote social debate on political secularization in the country), although they differ in the centrality of their personal, sociopolitical, and procedural motives to apostatize. The stories that apostates tell are resources for social mobilization as they seek an increasingly broad audience and serve the pedagogical function of sharing arguments against the political role of the Catholic Church and in favor of personal ideological coherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Apostasy and Other Forms of Leaving Religion)
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