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Conversion: To and From: Theology and our reflections

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Jeremiah T.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The basis for theological/religious beliefs
  3. Building on a faulty foundation
  4. Eldridge Cleaver as an example of profound conversion
  5. Tolstoy's Christianity
  6. Saint Teresa of Avila's conversion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Throughout this course we have studied the relationship between one's embedded and deliberative theology. We understand this relationship to be cyclical in nature; when one's deliberative, or second order theology, is reflected upon it can have the effect of altering one's embedded or first order theology. The dynamic between these two concepts is simple enough to understand. Though, what lacks simplicity in this arrangement is the origins of the relationship altogether. In order for one to reflect upon their own embedded theology, there must actually be an embedded theology in the first place. The roots of this first order theology can and should be called into question. If in any instance one's embedded theology is based solely on familial or social pressures, then whenever second order theology inspires sincere reflection upon it the embedded theology will morph to such a degree that knowingly, or unknowingly, a conversion will occur.

Keywords: Eldridge Cleaver, Leo Tolstoy, Saint Teresa, Benjamin Franklin

[...] Though the recounting of this experience is brilliant and inspirational it is important to attempt to answer the essential question?why? Why had Eldridge Cleaver converted to Christianity? It is probable that Eldridge Cleaver was not raised as a Black Muslim and converted at some point in his life. Had the pressure of his peers during that turbulent time in American history somehow influenced his decision to become a Black Muslim it is no surprise that he eventually converted from it? [...]


[...] It must be true that at some point in Franklin's life he began to place less importance on a specific sect's guidelines for worshipping and more emphasis on the virtues dictated by it. In How to Think Theologically, authors Stone and Duke write, grow in faith is to deepen, extend, and perhaps revise our understanding of its meaning and to arrive at clearer means by which to state and act on our convictions.? Well, to Franklin, the clearest way to ?state and on his convictions was to remove himself from an organized religion altogether. [...]

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