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In the Course of a LifetimeTracing Religious Belief, Practice, and Change$
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Michele Dillon and Paul Wink

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520249004

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520249004.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 January 2020

Individual Transformation in Religious Commitment and Meaning

Individual Transformation in Religious Commitment and Meaning

(p.100) 6 Individual Transformation in Religious Commitment and Meaning
In the Course of a Lifetime

Michele Dillon

Paul Wink

University of California Press

This chapter assesses change in individual levels of religiousness—discovering who increased or decreased in religiousness during their adult years. A sample study of some individuals that is highly stable as a group can show a lot of individual variability as long as increases in religiousness among some of the members are offset by declines in religiousness among other members. The data of the study of the individual differences of religiousness presented here indicate some distinct patterns of individual stability over time. Although a high proportion of the study participants who were highly religious in adolescence continued to be religious throughout adulthood, they were not universally so. Rather, a large number of individuals who were highly religious in adolescence became less religious in adulthood and, conversely, a substantial number of nonreligious adolescents became religious later in life. In short, adolescent religiousness is a robust, but not an overwhelmingly strong, predictor of religiousness.

Keywords:   individual transformation, religious commitment, individual variability, religiousness, individual stability

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