On Tuesday 19 October, Claire Mitchell and Gladys Ganiel spoke around the title of “Choosing Our Religion”.
They’re co-authors of “Evangelical Journeys: Choice and Change in a Religious Subculture” – a book that will shortly be published, based on their research into the faith journeys of 95 Northern Ireland evangelicals and ex-evangelicals that they interviewed.
Why do some people become more religiously conservative over time, whilst others moderate their views or abandon faith altogether? The book explores how religious journeys are shaped by social structures and by individual choices. It tells the stories of pro-life picketers, liberal peace-campaigning ministers, housewives afraid of the devil, students deconstructing their faith and atheists mortified by their religious past. Through hearing everyday stories about love, family, work and health, as well as politics, the book explores the many different worlds of ordinary evangelicals in Northern Ireland and the surprising ways in which their beliefs and practices can change over time.