Apostasy (αποστασις, in classical Greek a defection or revolt from a military commander, from απο, apo, "away, apart",
στασις, stasis, "standing") is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of one's
religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. In a technical sense, as used by
sociologists without the sometimes pejorative connotations of the word, the term refers to
renunciation and criticism of or opposition to one's former religion. One who commits apostasy is an apostate, or one who
apostatises. In older Western literature, the term typically referred to
baptized "Christian" s" who left their
faith. Apostasy is generally not a self-definition: very few former believers call themselves apostates and they generally consider this
term to be a pejorative. One of possible reasons for this renunciation is loss of
faith, another is the alleged failure of religious
Many religious movements consider it a vice (sin), a
corruption of the virtue of piety in the sense that
when piety fails, apostasy is the result. However, most converts to
a new religion can also be considered apostates from a previous belief.
Several religious groups punish apostates. Apostates may be shunned by the members of
their former religious group
. This may be the official policy of the religious group or may happen spontaneously, due in some sense to psycho-social factors as
well. Some religions may respond to apostasy by excommunicating the apostate.
Some atheists and agnostics use the
term "deconversion" to describe loss of faith in a religion. Freethinkers and those
who may see traditional religion in less than positive terms may see it as gaining "rationality" and respect for the
scientific method and not a loss.
The reliability of the testimonies of apostates is an important and controversial issue in the study of apostasy in
cults and new religious
The difference between apostasy and heresy is that the latter refers to rejection or
corruption of certain doctrines, not to the complete abandonment of one's religion.
The term is also used to refer to renunciation of belief in a cause other than religion, in particular in politics.
The American sociologist Lewis A. Coser wrote, following the German
philosopher and sociologist Max Scheler, that an apostate is not just a person who
experienced a dramatic change in conviction but refers to “a man who, even in his new state of belief, is spiritually living not
primarily in the content of that faith, in the pursuit of goals appropriate to it, but only in the struggle against the old faith and for
the sake of its negation."
The American sociologist David G. Bromley defined the apostate role as
follows and distinguished it from the defector and
- Apostate role: defined as one that occurs in a highly polarized situation in which an organization member undertakes a total
change of loyalties by allying with one or more elements of an oppositional coalition without the consent or control of the organization.
The narrative is one which documents the quintessentially evil essence of the apostate's former organization chronicled through the
apostate's personal experience of capture and ultimate escape/rescue.
- Defector role: an organizational participant negotiates exit primarily with organizational authorities, who grant permission for
role relinquishment, control the exit process, and facilitate role transmission. The jointly constructed narrative assigns primary moral
responsibility for role performance problems to the departing member and interprets organizational permission as commitment to extraordinary
moral standards and preservation of public trust.
- Whistleblower role: defined here as one in which an organization member forms an alliance with an external regulatory unit
through offering personal testimony concerning specific, contested organizational practices that is then used to sanction the organization.
The narrative constructed jointly by the whistleblower and regulatory agency is one which depicts the whistleblower as motivated by personal
conscience and the organization by defense of public interest.
In International Law
The United Nations
Commission on Human Rights, considers the recanting of a person's religion a human
right legally protected by the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: "The Committee observes that the freedom to 'have or to adopt' a religion or
belief necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one's current religion or belief with
another or to adopt atheistic views [...] Article 18.2 bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief,
including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to their religious beliefs
and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert." (CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4, General Comment No. 22., 1993).
See also Religious conversion
"Christian" s" often quote the prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy:
- "Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man
of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against;" (2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB/WEY).
Members of the Church
of Jesus "Christ" of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) believe that this foretold apostasy, "The Great Apostasy," began with the death of the
early apostles and continued into the early nineteenth century.
The apostasy can alternatively be interpreted as the pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church.
This is because apostasy means departure (translated so in the first seven English translations). Dr. Thomas Ice, Pre-Trib Perspective,
March 2004, Vol.8, No.11.
Signs of apostasy vary widely among many "Christian" denominations, the most common include:
- Denial of the Trinity and the deity of "Christ"
- Denial of the deity of the Holy Spirit;
- Denial of moral absolutes, as found in the
Some denominations quote Jude and Titus 3:10 saying that an apostate or heretic needs to be "rejected after the first and second
admonition." In Roman Catholicism, apostasy is among the offences which
bring automatic excommunication.
In the first centuries of the "Christian" era, apostasy was most commonly induced by persecution, and was indicated by some outward act,
such as offering incense to a heathen deity or blaspheming the name of "Christ" . (The readmission of such apostates to the church was a
matter that occasioned serious controversy. The emperor Julian's "Apostasy" is discussed under
Julian In the Roman Catholic Church the word is also applied to the renunciation of monastic vows (apostasis a monachatu), and to
the abandonment of the clerical profession for the life of the world (apostasis a clericatu). Such defection was formerly often
See also Great Apostasy
There is no concept of an apostate in Hinduism as there is no procedure of conversion to or away from Hinduism. Converts to other
religion from Hinduism may adopt other religions but cannot abandon Hinduism. There is no Hindu procedure that controls apostasy.
- Main articles: Apostasy in Islam & Takfir
In Islam, apostasy is called "ridda" ("turning back") and it is considered by Muslims to be a profound insult. A person born of Muslim
parents that rejects Islam is called a "murtad fitri" (natural apostate), and a person that converted to Islam and later rejects the
religion is called a "murtad milli" (apostate from the community).
The question of the penalties imposed in Islam for apostasy is a highly controversial topic that is passionately debated by various
scholars. On this basis, according to some scholars, if a Muslim consciously and without coercion declares their rejection of Islam, then
the penalty for male apostates is the death penalty, or life imprisonment for women. However, this view has been rejected by some modern
Muslim scholars (eg Hasan al-Turabi), who argue that the hadith in question
should be taken to apply only to political betrayal of the Muslim community, rather than to apostasy in general.
These scholars argue for the freedom to convert to and from Islam without legal penalty, and consider the aforementioned Hadith quote as
insufficient confirmation of harsh punishment; they regard apostasy as a serious crime, but undeserving of the death penalty. However, in
Iran, apostasy is a capital crime according to Amnesty International.
The Qur'an (Koran) says:
- Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Clearly the Right Path (Islam) is distinct from the crooked path.(2: 256)
- A section of the People of the Book (Jews and "Christian" s" ) say: Believe in the morning what is revealed to the believers (Muslims),
but reject it at the end of the day; perchance they may (themselves) turn back (from Islam)." (3:72)
- "But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith, never will their repentance be
accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray." (3:90)
- Those who blasphemed and back away from the ways of Allah and die as blasphemers, Allah shall not forgive them. (4:48)
- Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief,- Allah will not
forgive them nor guide them on the way."(4:137)
- O ye who believe! If any from among you turn back from his faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He (Allah) will love as they
will love Him lowly with the believers, Mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproachers of
such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah which He will bestow on whom He (Allah) pleases. And Allah encompasses all, and He knows all
The Hadith (the body of quotes attributed to
Muhammad) includes statements taken as supporting the death penalty for apostasy, such as:
- The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except
in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate)
and leaves the Muslims." (Sahih Bukhari Vol. 9, book 83, number 17, narrated via
- See also: yetzia bish'eila
The term apostasy is also derived from Greek ἀποστάτης, meaning "political
rebel," as applied to rebellion against God, its law and the faith of Israel (in
Hebrew מרד) in the Hebrew Bible. In Talmudic Hebrew, an apostate is a mumar or
Other expressions for apostate as used by rabbinical scholars are "mumar" (מומר, literally "the one that changes") and "poshea yisrael" (פושע
ישראל, literally, "transgessor of Israel"), or simply "kofer" (כופר, literally "denier").
The Torah states:
- If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own
soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; [Namely], of
the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the
[other] end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou
spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and
afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he
die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of
Paul the Apostle was accused of apostasy by the council of
James and the elders, for teaching apostasy from the law given by Moses.
Scholars consider this the reason by which some early "Christian" s" , such as the Ebionites,
repudiated Paul for being an apostate.
In the Talmud, Elishah Ben Abuyah (known as Aḥer) is singled out as an apostate and
epicurean by the Pharisees.
During the Spanish inquisition, a systematic conversion of Jews to
"Christianity" took place, some of which under threats and force. These cases of apostasy provoked the indignation of the Jewish communities
Several notorious Inquisitors, such as Juan Torquemada, and Don Francisco the
archbishop of Coria, were descendants of apostate Jews. Other apostates who made
their mark in history by attempting the conversion of other Jews in the 1300s include
Juan de Valladolid and
However, the issue of what qualifies as "apostasy" in Judaism can be complicated, since in many modern movements in Judaism, rabbis have
generally considered the behavior of a Jew to be the determining factor in whether or not one is considered an adherent or an apostate of
Judaism. Within these movements it is often recognized that it is possible for a Jew to strictly practise
Judaism as a faith, while at the same time being an agnostic or atheist, giving rise to the
riddle: "Q: What do you call a Jew who doesn't believe in God? A: A Jew." It is also worth noting that
Reconstructionism does not require any belief in a deity,
and that certain popular Reform prayer books such as Gates of Prayer
offer some services without mention of God.
Abraham Isaac Kook
first Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in pre-state Israel, held that atheists were not actually denying God: rather, they were denying
one of man's many images of God. Since any man-made image of God can be considered an idol, Kook held that, in practice, one could consider
atheists as helping true religion burn away false images of god, thus in the end serving the purpose of true monotheism.
In purported cults and new religious movements (NRMs)
Some scholars of new religious movements define as apostates specifically those individuals that leave new religious movements and become
public opponents against their former faith to distinguish them from other former members who do not speak against their former faith, while
others contest such a distinction. Former members of NRMs often see the use of "apostate" as an attempt to discredit them and their
Some scholars use the term post-cult trauma to describe the emotional and
social problems that some members of cults and new religious movements experience after leaving the group, while other scholars assert that
such traumas are either only applicable in rare cases or are more likely caused by deprogramming or pre-existing psychical problems, not by
Some notable former members are part of the secular
cults and new religious movements or the
"Christian" countercult movement. Some former members of new religious movements make public stands against their former religion to
warn the public of what they see as its dangers and harm. Several of those former members do maintain websites on their former groups with
unflattering perspectives, testimonials of former members, and information which, they say, is not disclosed by those groups to the public.
Their stated goal is to provide information that enables current and prospective member to make an informed choice about joining or staying
with a religious movement. Critics like Basava Premanand (ex-Sathya
Sai Baba) and several critical members of Elan Vital, complain about
ad hominem attacks on them by their former organizations or by
apologists of their former faith
. Some of the groups being criticized, such as Elan Vital
 and Adidam
 in turn, claim being the target of religious intolerance,
or hate by these critics.
Accounts of former members of new religious movements include failed promises, sexual
abuse by the leader who claimed to be pure and divine, false, irrational and
contradictory teachings, deception, financial exploitation, demonizing of the outside
world, long lasting emotional pain and depression upon disaffiliation, abuse of power and
hypocrisy of the leadership, discrimination, unnecessary secrecy, teaching platitudes, discouragment of
brainwashing, mind control,
exclusivism, pedophilia, leadership that does not admit any mistakes, and more.
Opinions about the reliability of apostates' testimony and their motivations
The validity of testimony by former members of new religious movements, their motivations, and the roles they play in the opposition to
cults and new religious movements are controversial subjects among scholars of religion, sociologists and psychologists:
- Bryan R. Wilson, who was a professor of Sociology at
Oxford University, writes that apostates of new religious movements, are
generally in need of self-justification, seeking to reconstruct their own past and to excuse their former affiliations, while blaming those
who were formerly their closest associates. Wilson coins the term of atrocity story
that is in his view rehearsed by the apostate to explain how, by manipulation, coercion or deceit, he was recruited to a group that he now
condemns. (Wilson, 1981) Wilson also challenges the reliability of the apostate's testimony by saying that "[apostates] always be seen as
one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion
must arise that he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first
a victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader." (Wilson 1994)
- Jean Duhaime, a professor of religious studies and science of religion
at the Université de Montréal writes, based upon his analysis of three memoirs by apostates of NRMs (by Dubreuil, Huguenin, Lavallée, see
bibliography), that he is more balanced than some reseachers, referring to Wilson, and that apostate testimonies can not be dismissed, only
because they are not objective, though he admits that they write atrocity stories
in the definition by Bromley and Shupe. He asserts that the reasons why they tell their stories are, among others, to warn others to be
careful in religous matters and to put order in their own lives. (Duhaime 2003)
- Bromley and Shupe while discussing the role of anecdotal atrocity stories by apostates, proposes that these are likely to paint a
caricature of the group, shaped by the apostate's current role rather than his experience in the group, and question's their motives and
rationale. In Lewis Carter and David Bromley claim in some studies that the onus of pathology experienced by former members of new religions
movements should be shifted from these groups to the coercive activities of the anti-cult movement.(Bromley, 1984)
- Gordon Melton, while testifying as an expert witness in a lawsuit, said that
when investigating groups, one should not rely solely upon the unverified testimony of ex-members, and that hostile ex-members would
invariably shade the truth and blow out of proportion minor incidents turning them into major incidents.
He also quotes the above study of Lewis Carter and David Bromley. .He also follows the argumentation of Lewis Carter and David Bromley above
and claims that as a result of this study, the treatment (coerced or voluntary) of former members as people in need of psychological
assistance largely ceased and that an (alleged) lack of widespread need for psychological help by former members of new religions would in
itself be the strongest evidence refuting early sweeping condemnations of new religions as causes of psychological trauma. (Melton 1999)
- Dr. Lonnie D. Kliever, Professor of Religious Studies of the
Southern Methodist University, in his paper titled
The Reliability of Apostate testimony about New Religious movements that he wrote upon request for
Scientology, claims that the overwhelming majority of people who disengage from
non-conforming religions harbor no lasting ill-will toward their past religious associations and activities, and that by contrast there is a
much smaller number of apostates who are deeply invested and engaged in discrediting and peforming actions designed to destroying the
religious communities that once claimed their loyalties. He asserts that these dedicated opponents present a distorted view of the new
religions and cannot be regarded as reliable informants by responsible journalists, scholars, or jurists. He claims that the reason for the
lack of reliability of apostates is due to the traumatic nature of
disaffiliation that he compares to a divorce and also due the influence of the
anti-cult movement even on those apostates who were not
deprogrammed or received
exit counseling. (Kliever, 1995)
- Dr. Phillip Charles Lucas
interviewed ex-members of the
Holy order of MANS/"Christ" the Savior Brotherhood and compared them with stayers, and outside observers and came to the conclusion that
their testimonies are as (un-)reliables as those of stayers. (Lucas 1995)
- Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, a professor of psychology at the
University of Haifa, argues that academic supporters of
New religious movements are engaged in a rhetoric of advocacy,
apologetics and propaganda, and writes that in the cases of cult catastrophies such as
Peoples Temple, or
Heaven's Gate, accounts by hostile outsiders and detractors have
been closer to reality than other accounts, and that in that context statements by ex-members turned out to be more accurate than those of
offered by apologists and NRM researchers. (Beit-Hallahmi 1997)
- Professor Benjamin Zablocki
analyzing leaver responses found the testimonies of former members as least as reliable as statements from the groups. (Zablocki 1996)
- Massimo Introvigne in his Defectors, Ordinary Leavetakers and
Apostates (Introvigne 1997) defines three types of narratives constructed by apostates
of new religious movements:
- Type I naratives: characterize the exit process as defection, in which the organization and the former member negotiate an exiting
process aimed at minimizing the damage for both parties.
- Type II naratives: involve a minimal degree of negotiation between the exiting member, the organization it intends to leave, and the
environment or society at large, impliying that the ordinary apostate holds no strong feelings concerning his past experience in the group.
- Type III naratives: characterized by the ex-member dramatically reversing his loyalties and becomes a
professional enemy of the organization he has left. These aspostates, often join an
oppositional coalition fighting the organization, often claiming victimization.
- Introvigne argues that apostates professing type II narratives prevail among exiting members of controversial groups or
organizations, while apostates that profess type III narratives are a vociferous minority.
- Mark Dunlop, a former member of FWBO) argues that ex-members of cultic groups face great
obstacles in exposing abuses committed by these groups, stating that ex-members "have great difficulty in disproving
ad-hominem arguments, such as that they have a personal axe to grind, that they are
trying to find a scapegoat to excuse their own failure or deficiency [...] Cults have a vested interest in challenging the personal
credibility of their critics, and may cultivate academic researchers who attack the credibility and motives of ex-members." Dunlop further
expands on the specific difficulties faced by ex-members in proving harms done to them: "If an ex-member claims that they were subjected to
brainwashing or mind-control techniques, not only is this again unprovable, but it is tantamount to admitting that they are a gullible and
easily led person whose opinions, consequently, can't be worth much. If an ex-member suffers from any mental disorientation or evident
psychiatric symptoms, this is likely to further diminish their credibility as a reliable informant." He concludes with "In general, the
public credibility of critical ex-cultists seems to be somewhere in between that of Estate Agents and flying saucer abductees." In the
article's summary, Dunlop argues that given that the apostates' testimony is ineffective due to lack of public credibility, and that other
forms of criticism are also ineffectual for various reasons, cults are virtually immune from outside criticism making it very difficult to "expos[e]
cults". (Dunlop 2001)
Opposition to cults and new religious movements, Post-cult trauma
Other uses of the term
In popular usage, religious terminology like "apostasy" is often appropriated for use within other public spheres characterized by
strongly-held beliefs, like politics. Such usage typically carries a much less negative
connotation than the religious usage does, and sometimes people will even describe themselves as apostates. Authors
Kevin Phillips (a former
Republican strategist turned harsh critic of the
Bush administration) and
"Christ" opher Hitchens (a former
left-wing commentator turned enthusiastic supporter of the
Iraq War) are examples of people who are often described as political apostates.
This is a list of some notable persons that have been labelled an apostate by a notable source, regardless whether they fit any of the
- Baruch Spinoza published works that contradicted traditional Judaism and was
as a result excommunicated by the local Jewish community because of what they perceived as apostasy.
Lewis A. Coser The Age of the Informer Dissent:1249-54, 1954
- ^ Bromley,
David G. (Ed.) The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements CT, Praeger
Publishers, 1998. ISBN 0-275-95508-7
- Beith-Hallahmi, Benjamin Dear Colleagues: Integrity and
Suspicion in NRM Research, 1997,
- Bromley David G. et al., The Role of Anecdotal Atrocities in the
Social Construction of Evil, in Bromley, David G et al. (ed.), Brainwashing Deprogramming Controversy: Sociological, Psychological,
Legal, and Historical Perspectives (Studies in religion and society) p. 156, 1984,
- Duhaime, Jean (Université de Montréal) Les Témoignages
de convertis et d'ex-adeptes (English: The testimonies of converts and former followers, in Mikael Rothstein et al. (ed.), New
Religions in a Postmodern World, 2003, ISBN 8772887486
- Dunlop, Mark, The culture of Cults, 2001
- Introvigne, Massimo Defectors, Ordinary Leavetakers and
Apostates: A Quantitative Study of Former Members of New Acropolis in France - paper delivered at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the
American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, November 23, 1997
- The Jewish Encylopedia (1906). The Kopelman Foundation.
- Kliever. Lonnie D, Ph.D. The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements, 1995.
- Lucas, Phillip Charles, The Odyssey of a New Religion:
The Holy Order of MANS from New Age to Orthodoxy
Indiana University press;
- Lucas, Phillip Charles, Shifting Millenial Visions in New Religious Movements: The case of the Holy Order of MANS in The year
2000: Essays on the End edited by Charles B. Strozier, New York University Press 1997;
- Lucas, Phillip Charles, From Holy Order of MANS to "Christ" the Savior Brotherhood: The Radical Transformation of an Esoteric
"Christian" Order in Timothy Miller (ed.), America's Alternative Religions State University of New York Press, 1995;
- Lucas, Phillip Charles, The Eleventh Commandment Fellowship: A New Religious Movement Confronts the Ecological Crisis, Journal of
Contemporary Religion 10:3, 1995:229-41;
- Lucas, Phillip Charles, Social factors in the Failure of New Religious Movements: A Case Study Using Stark's Success Model SYZYGY:
Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture 1:1, Winter 1992:39-53
- Melton, Gordon J., Brainwashing and the Cults: The Rise and Fall of a
- Wilson, Bryan R. (Ed.) The Social Dimensions of Sectarianism, Rose
of Sharon Press, 1981.
- Wilson, Bryan R. Apostates and New Religious Movements, Oxford, England, 1994
- Zablocki, Benjamin, Reliability and validity of apostate accounts in the study of religious communities. Paper presented at the
Association for the Sociology of Religion in New York City, Saturday, August 17, 1996.
- Zablocki, Benjamin et al., Research on NRMs in the Post-9/11 World, in Lucas ,Phillip Charles et al. (ed.), NRMs in the 21st
Century: legal, political, and social challenges in global perspective, 2004,
Testimonies, memoirs, and autobiographies
- Dubreuil, J. P. 1994 L'Église de Scientology. Facile d'y entrer, difficile d'en sortir. Sherbrooke: private edition (ex-Church
- Huguenin, T. 1995 Le 54e Paris Fixot (ex-Ordre
du Temple Solaire who would be the 54th victim)
- Kaufmann, Inside Scientology/Dianetics: How I Joined Dianetics/Scientology and Became Superhuman, 1995
- Lavallée, G. 1994 L'alliance de la brebis. Rescapée de la secte de Moïse, Montréal: Club Québec Loisirs (ex-Roch
- Pignotti, Monica, My nine lives in Scientology, 1989,
- Wakefield, Margery, Testimony, 1996
- Lawrence Woodcraft, Astra Woodcraft, Zoe Woodcraft, The Woodcraft Family, Video Interviews
Writings by others
- Bromley, David G. (Ed.) The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements
CT, Praeger Publishers, 1998. ISBN 0-275-95508-7
- Carter, Lewis, F. Lewis, Carriers of Tales: On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices
published in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements edited
by David G. Bromley Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, 1998. ISBN
- Malinoski, Peter, Thoughts on Conducting Research with Former Cult Members , Cultic Studies Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2001
- Palmer, Susan J. Apostates and their Role in the Construction of Grievance Claims against the Northeast Kingdom/Messianic Communities
- Wright, Stuart. Post-Involvement Attitudes of Voluntary Defectors from Controversial New Religious Movements. Journal for the
Scientific Study of Religion 23 (1984): pp. 172-82