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Religious Capital and Conversion to Other Religions

Personal Religious Capital and Impacts on It

Religious capital entails the fundamental investment that individuals tend to make in their respective religious faiths. It incorporates the mutual time as well as the physical work devoted towards maintaining both religious faith along with private and special investments in the doctrines, practices, and ideologies. Within the spheres of religious conversions, the premise of religious capital theory envisages that human beings always endeavor to marmalade the ensuing religious capital. Having this as a foundation of religious capital, it is apparent that large doctrinal alterations pose significant losses in religious capital in comparison to smaller ones.

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Carla was a devoted Muslim while residing in Irvine. The move to Christian based San Diego might have negatively impacted her religious capital. By making an Islamic religious choice in Irvine, Carla must have learned to master and conserve Islamic religious faith besides having an emotional attachment which made her shun activities and associations which could threaten such an investment.

The specific experience and skills she had in Islamic such as Islamic amity, familiarity with its doctrines, and rituals coupled with associations with fellow worshipers declined. Given that she had Islamic experiences and emotional bonds the move deteriorated her capacity to produce and accrue further Islamic religious capital.

The close friendship formed between Carla and Francine leads to the deterioration of Carla’s Islamic religious capital and augmentation of her Sikhism religious capital. The newly formed bond with Sikhism will make Carla strengthen her emotional ties to this novel religion, get acquainted with its doctrines and rituals as well as become attached to this religion’s particular culture. The mutual degree of mastering Sikhism culture and the emotional attachment she might have built on this religion becomes Carla’s investment over a given period. Such elements of satisfaction with religious activities increase her Sikhism religious capital.

Religious Capital Theory Predicting Conversion to a Different Group

When people make religious choices they often tend to preserve their specific religious culture. An upshot of such a proposal is based on the fact that when an individual has accrued additional religious capital, more strength will be sought to marmalade the acquired capital. This implies that while an individual optimally masters a religion and becomes emotionally attached to it, activities and associations which seem to threaten investment in such a religion are always shunned.

As a result, larger accumulated religious capital reduces the chances of an individual to either convert or re-associate to a new religious group. However, individuals seeking conversions to new but different groups have the intention of selecting options that optimize the upkeep of their religious capital. Religious mobility thus reduces because people opt to stay in their original denominations.

If they want to quit, a selection of a denomination which intimately resembles the preceding affiliations is made with those having higher religious capital bound to remain. Conversion to different religious groups ensues due to the minimally accumulated religious capital in the original religion. The conversion also occurs when married couples are from dissimilar religions. For instance, in a mixed religious marriage, there is the possibility that either both or single partner is deficient in religious capital.

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Since it is impractical to effectively convert all the religious capital in the course of religious conversion, an individual with higher faith investment in a particular religion faces elevated risks when changing faith. In a diverse religious marriage, therefore, partners optimize their religious faith provided a partner having the least devotion converts to the religious conviction of a partner who is extra committed.

The core religious teachings and distinctive beliefs clearly explain why individuals might seek to convert to a different religious group. When a religious group offers people incomparable religious capital it creates conducive room for retaining its members. The conversions to different religious groups happen because of the provision of idiosyncratic worship, the possession of inimitable past, and the claim of a single religious source of influence. If a religious group grants unique and core teachings that safeguard the accessible religious capital, a rift chance is minimized.

The religious capital role in the Unification Church (UC) conversion

Religious capital played a significant role in the Unification Church conversion. The belief that Jesus Christ at some point appeared to the founder member called Sun Moon makes the devotees observe this church as a unique one. People became converted into the UC believing that Moon was purportedly told by Jesus that the salvation of men will only come through him. The involvement of the worshippers or Moonies in the inimitable blood separation ritual where the protection of the followers was enhanced through sex cleansing led to the accrual of supplementary religious capital for the believers.

The religious faith invested coupled with doctrines, practices, and ideologies that were put in place for the followers ensured an increase in the number of conversions. After the overwhelming expansion into various parts of the world, the UC has had over three million followers. A seminary was instituted to increase the number of conversions and whoever had the interest to join this movement was to be trained in the seminary. Moons’ initiation of various business ventures with the aid of the Moonie’s free labor indeed helped UC to attract many people who seem not to have stable religions.

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