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Philosophia Christi

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2018

Symposium on Dualism and Physicalism

Helen De Cruz
Pages 265-275
DOI: 10.5840/pc201820125

Religious Conversion, Transformative Experience, and Disagreement

Religious conversion gives rise to disagreement with one’s former self and with family and friends. Because religious conversion is personally and epistemically transformative, it is difficult to judge whether a former epistemic peer is still one’s epistemic peer post-conversion, just like it is hard for the convert to assess whether she is now in a better epistemic position than prior to her conversion. Through Augustine’s De Utilitate Credendi (The Usefulness of Belief) I show that reasoned argument should play a crucial role in assessing the evidential value of religious conversions, both for the person who converts and for her (former) peers.

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