I don't often post links to news stories but I happened upon one today that was a bit out of the ordinary. The Star Phoenix, published in Saskatoon, Canada, recently published a story about religious conversion that mentioned Lewis Rambo. As you may know, Rambo has written extensively about about conversion, developing one of the most notable research programs on the subject. The Star Phoenix article offers a glimpse into some of Rambo's more personal experience with conversion.
Many years ago, perhaps at a meeting of SSSR, I had an interesting conversation with another psychologist about this issue. In the social scientific study of religion, we don't often hear about the researcher's personal perspective regarding religion. Sometimes it is self-evident, given the direction of the researcher's publications. Once in a while, we even read directly from the researcher, as with William James. There are understandable reasons for this, such as personal privacy and concern for the perceived legitimacy of one's research or motives for studying religion. Even the place of religion in academics generally, and in psychology specifically, seem to affect what many researchers reveal about their interest in religion. But I admit that I found it, well, refreshing to read a little about the personal background of someone whose work I have admired, but whom I have never met. Perhaps you will have the same reaction after reading the story.