Thesis

Locus of control & religious conversion of Jewish youth

This study examined thirty-six subjects who had converted from Judaism to Christianity in the 1970's while in their teen-age years. The sampling was small, reflecting not necessarily the limitations of the researcher, but the very limited number of persons who have actually converted despite the great proliferation of proselytization literature on campuses and streets. The hypothesis was that the subjects would prove to be more External and therefore more susceptible to the pop-culture religious influences of the 1970's. The Externality was measured by the Rotter IE Scale, and the results were consistent in the expected direction but not statistically conclusive. The review of related literature brought together the history of Jewish conversion in America, some psychological views about religion and conversion, and a description of the religious counter-culture in the United States today, particularly the various Jesus movements. The question "Why, although the vast majority do not, do some young people convert?" remains unanswered in this thesis.

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