Yesterday I posted about Project Conversion, a year long odyssey that a new buddy of mine has undertaken. He will convert to a new religion every month in 2011 (except for June, when he will take a break and explore some fringe religions). He is nearly halfway through his month of Hinduism. Here are some questions I asked Andrew about himself and about Project Conversion.
What is your name?
Tell the readers of RTL a little about yourself.
I’m from eastern North Carolina, grew up an Army brat and was generally a social outcast through most of school. I started out a fire and brimstone Christian in high school, but dropped the faith in college. While there I descended into drugs and alcohol, was kicked out of school, got my
girlfriend/best friend pregnant and then married. My love affair with religion occurred as I researched material for one of my unpublished novels. It’s the only way I know of to love two things at once without making the other too jealous.
Where do you stand today in your spiritual pursuit?
I describe myself as spiritually promiscuous. Just as I begin to jive on one faith, another walks by with a foxy wink and yet another affair is born.
Why Project Conversion?
Because we live in a time when ignorance and misunderstanding threatens our survival. We are murdering ourselves over a difference of opinion, or misguided religious imperatives. Humanity has no chance of survival unless we replace our apathy with sympathy by understanding the differences of our neighbors instead of blindly fearing and judging them. Project Conversion serves as an example of living a day in the shoes of another.
What can we expect from Project Conversion over the next year?
An interesting, entertaining, and down-to-earth projection of how people of different faiths live and function. I’m not an academic. Project Conversion isn’t some show on the History Channel. You are going to see mistakes, you are going to see struggle, and you are going to see enlightenment.
What are you hoping to gain from Project Conversion?
Personally I will gain perspective. I don’t have a degree in Religious Studies (yet), so my knowledge of different faiths is limited to a sophomoric and sterile objective lens. However by experiencing each faith as closely as possible, I will have a clearer, richer and more accurate vision of the various faiths once their month is over. I further hope that others will take my lead and do the same or at least be slower to judge a rival faith before finding out more for themselves.
Anything else we should know about Andrew Bowen?
If my wife leaves me for putting her and the kids through this, I’ll need a place to crash for a while…