Project Conversion: 12 Faiths In 12 Months

Rothwell Polk, Huffington Post, Feb.22, www.huffingtonpost.com/rothwell-polk/project-conversion-twelve_b_825711.html

Andrew Bowen, 28, of Lumberton, N.C., is spending the 12 months of 2011 being “spiritually promiscuous,” he says with a wry sense of humor. Each month he immerses himself in a different religion, adopting its rites and rituals, learning from its prayers and scriptures, meeting with its believers and sharing what he learns with the world. Bowen calls this yearlong effort “Project Conversion.”

“Project Conversion came about because late last year I was at a point in my life where I was spending my time reading and writing about religion, but the rest of the world seemed to be up in flames about it and fighting about it so I was at a crossroads. Do I join this militant atheism to try and expunge out religion or do I try and do something about it?” said Bowen.

During the first week of the month for each new religion, Bowen focuses on religious practices, worship and ritual; the second week, on art and culture; the third week, on social issues and conflicts; and the fourth week, on personal reflection on what he has learned about the specific faith he has immersed himself in that month. He spent the last three months of 2010 lining up mentors and resources for each of the religions. He assigned the religions to a specific month because during that month there is a holy day or other special observance specific to that faith. This is his 12 month schedule:

  • January: Hinduism
  • February: Baha’i
  • March: Zoroastrianism
  • April: Judaism
  • May: Buddhism
  • June: Fringe
  • July: Mormonism
  • August: Islam
  • September: Sikhism
  • October: Wicca
  • November: Jainism
  • December: Catholicism

Read the complete article here.