Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 365–385 | Cite as

Comparing Biographical Backgrounds of Religious Founders and Converts to Those Religions: An Exploratory Study



This paper is an exploratory, preliminary investigation of the possible links between the biographical backgrounds and developmental trajectories of major religious figures such as Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, and Baha’u’llah, and the backgrounds of those who convert to these religions (or certain groups within these religions) in the West. This article ends with the hypothesis that in terms of biographical backgrounds and motivations for conversion, followers’ narratives resemble those of their religious leaders in some areas.


Religious founders Religious conversion 



Many thanks also to three anonymous reviewers and the editor of Pastoral Psychology, Lewis Rambo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spring Arbor UniversitySpring ArborUSA

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