The Humanist Hour #216: Susan Jacoby on Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion

Programming note: The Humanist Hour will be off next week, October 26th! We’ll be back on Wednesday, November 2.

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We tend to think of the process of converting from one religion to another as a religious experience, but how much of that reflects the outlook of the people who usually talk about conversion? When author Susan Jacoby set out to explore conversion from the perspective of an atheist, she found, by contrast, that many if not most religious conversions are undertaken for frankly pragmatic reasons. From politics to position in society, she details many of the reasons people convert in her latest book, Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion.

This week, she joins Peggy Knudtson to talk about the book and what the current political season tells us about the influence of religion on the hearts, minds, and ballots of Americans.

Susan’s links: