Conversions: Two Family Stories from the Reformation and Modern America

Craig Harline
Craig Harline. Yale Univ., $27.50 (320p) ISBN 978-0-300-16741-2
Reviewed on: 10/10/2011
Release date: 00/00/0000
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-300-19244-5
Ebook - 313 pages - 978-0-300-16741-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-283-27986-4
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A cultural historian at Brigham Young University, Harline (Miracles at the Jesus Oak) narrates the histories of two individuals who changed faiths at personal cost to them. Jacob Rolandus, son of a Dutch reformed preacher, became a Catholic in 1654, when religious enmity was part of the social order. In 1973, Michael Sunbloom converted to Mormonism. Both young men caused turmoil in their families. Sunbloom's story adds a modern twist; his realization that he is gay eventually prompts him to leave the Mormon church. Harline has done deep research, but the story wears it lightly, as both compelling narratives roll down parallel tracks. A beautiful book, illuminating in a time when almost half of Americans report switching religions. (Sept. 15)