Ex-Seventh-day Adventist Research

Posted on: October 15, 2023 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: From Duane

Ex-Seventh-day Adventist Research
Duane McClearn

The beginning of a literature review
The research team investigating those who have already disaffiliated from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, are in the process of doing so, or are considering doing so, has several goals. Among other things, we want to understand what factors lead to a desire to disaffiliate, how the process takes place, what stresses (emotional, relationship, financial) the process incurs, and what the psychological consequences of having been a member and then becoming disaffiliated are. As part of our review of relevant literature, we have gathered together a substantial list of references that hit on these themes. Research on the topic of ex-affiliation has been relatively far-ranging, although most has confined itself to the Christian experience. Certain fundamentalist Christian groups have been highlighted to a degree, such as the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. A glaring omission has been research on the Seventh-day Adventists. Our own research aims to fill this gap, at least, in some small way.

Below is a listing of some of the literature we are reading. Please contact us via email if you have suggestions for additional readings, especially from academic sources looking at the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Altemeyer, B. & Hunsberger, B. (1997). Amazing Conversions: Why Some Turn to Faith an Others Abandon Religion. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

Avance, R. (2013). Seeing the light: Mormon conversion and deconversion narratives in off- and online worlds. Journal of Media and Religion, 12 (1), 16-24.

Bahr, H. M.& Albrecht, S. L. (1989). Strangers once more: Patterns of disaffiliation from Mormonism. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28 (2), 180-200.

Brooks, E. M. (2020). The disenchanted self: Anthropological notes on existential distress and ontological insecurity among ex-Mormons in Utah. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 44, 193-213.

Bruce, S. (2011). Secularization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bullivant, S. (2022). Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Burge, R. P. (2021). The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Cheong, P. H. & Fisk, M. (2013). Leaving church: Resisting authority and community in online-offline dimensions. Selected Papers in Internet Research, 14, 1-4.

Cottee, S. (2015). The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam. London: Hurst & Co.

Davidman, L. (2015). Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Downie, A. (2022). Christian shame and religious trauma. Religions, 13 (10) 925

Fazzino, L. L. (2014). Leaving the church behind: Applying a deconversion perspective to Evangelical exit narratives. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 29 (2) 249-266.

Hadaway, C. K. (1989). Identifying American apostates. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion: 28 (2) 201-215.

Hall, E. D. (2017). The process of family member marginalization: Turning points experienced by “black sheep.” Personal Relationships, 24, 491-512.

Hinderaker, A., & O’Connor. (2015). The long road out: Exit stories from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Communication Studies, 66 (5), 509-527.

Inglehart, R. F. (2020). Giving up on God: The global decline of religion. Foreign Affairs, 99 (5) 110-118.

Inglehart, R. F. (2021). Religion’s Sudden Decline: What’s Causing It, and What Comes Next? New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Levin, J., Bradshaw, M. Johnson, B. R., & Stark, R. (2022). Are religious “nones” really not religious?: Revisiting Glenn, three decades later. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 18, 1-29.

Lim, C., MacGregor, C. A., & Putnam, R. D. (2010). Secular and liminal: Discovering heterogeneity among religious nones. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 49 (4) 596-619.

Nica, A. A. (2020). Leaving my religion: How ex-fundamentalists reconstruct identity related to well-being. Journal of Religion and Health, 59, 2120-2134.

Ormsbee, J. T. (2020). ‘Like a cord snapping’: Toward a grounded theory of how devout Mormons leave the LDS church. Critical Research on Religion, 8 (3) 297-317.

Ransom, H. J., Monk, R. L., Qureshi., A, & Helm, D. (2021). Life after death: Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, identity transition and recovery. Pastoral Psychology, 70, 53-69.

Ransom, H. J. Monk, R. L., & Helm, D. (2022). Grieving the living: The social death of former Jehovah’s Witness. Journal of Religion and Health, 61, 2458-2480.

Scheitle, C. P., & Adamczyk. (2010). High-cost religion, religious switching, and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51 (3) 325-342.

Suh, D. & Russell, R. (2015). Non-affiliation, non-denominationalism, religious switching, and denominational switching: Longitudinal analysis of the effects on religiosity. Review of Religious Research, 57, 25-41.

Turpin, H. (2022). Unholy Catholic Ireland. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Wilkins-Laflamme, S. (2015). How unreligious are the religious “nones”? Religious dynamics of the unaffiliated in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Sociology, 40 (4) 477-500

Worwood, J., Scharp, K. M., & Phillips, K. E. (2020). “I don’t want to have a weird relationship with you, so I’m trying”: Relational turning points and trajectories of ex-member children and their member parents in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Journal of Family Communications, 20 (4), 327-344.

Zuckerman, P. (ed.) (2010). Atheism and Secularity: Volume 1. Issues, Concepts, and Definitions. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Zuckerman, P. (ed.) (2010). Atheism and Secularity: Volume 2. Global Expressions. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Zuckerman, P.  (2012). Faith No More. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Zuckerman, P. (2014). Living the Secular Life. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Zuckerman, P., Galen, Luke, W., & Pasquale, F. L. (2016). The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Zuckerman, P. (2019). What It Means to Be Moral. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint.

Zuckerman, P. (2020). Society Without God. New York: NYU Press.


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