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Authors Who Are Converts to a Different Religion

This is a list of authors who are religious converts. This list is necessarily restricted to people who have formally affiliated with a religious tradition other than one they were raised in. (Naturally, if we included all authors who have experienced philosophical or spiritual changes in their life of any kind, we would have to include most authors.* For many authors, each book they write is a kind of conversion experience.)

To limit this list to a manageable size, it does not include authors who have only written religious books or autobiographies about their conversion.

AuthorPrevious AffiliationNew Religious AffiliationGenreExample of Writing
Gael BaudinoDianic WiccaQuakerfantasyDragonsword Trilogy
James BeauSeigneurCatholic/
EvangelicalEvangelical science fictionChrist Clone trilogy
Maya Kaathryn BohnhoffProtestantBaha'ifantasyThe Meri
Hermann BrochJudaismCatholicnovels (German/Austrian) The Sleepwalkers; The Death of Virgil
Jo Clayton?CatholicfantasyThe Burning Ground; A Bait of Dreams
G. K. ChestertonUnitarian; AnglicanCatholicscience fiction; mystery; religious non-fictionThe Man Who Knew Too Much; Orthodoxy
Avram DavidsonOrthodox JudaismTenrikyoscience fiction
Clash of Star-Kings
John DonneCatholicAnglican (priest)metaphysical poems, songs, sermons(English writer) "Dead Souls"
Theodore DreiserCatholicCongregationalist novels(American) An American Tragedy; Carrie
J. M. DeMatteis?Hindu (Meher Baba)comic booksMoon Shadow
David DoeringEpiscopalianLatter-day Saintscience fiction"Dan Venture and the Gurad Marauders"
John Dryden?Catholicpoetry, plays, critical essays(English writer) Marriage A-la-Mode (1672)
Thom DuncanEvangelicalLatter-day Saintplaywright
science fiction
"A Sceptre, A Sword, A Scented Rose"
Richard DutcherPentecostalLatter-day Saintscreenwriter"Girl Crazy"; "God's Army"
Anthony FlewMethodist, atheistDeismphilosophyformerly one of world's leading atheists; God and Philosophy; New Essays in Philosophical Theology, "Theology and Falsification" (1950): article which introduced: "principle of falsifiability"; "The Presumption of Atheism" (1989)
Graham Greene?Catholicnovels(British) The Power and the Glory; The Third Man; The Heart of the Matter
Robert HaydenBaptistBaha'ipoetBallad of Remembrance
Chris Heimerdinger?Latter-day SaintYA fictionBen Franklin and the Chamber of Time; "Tennis Shoes" series
Heinrich HeineJudaismLutheranpoetry, songs(German) Buch der Lieder (The Book of Songs)
Ernest HemingwayCongregationalistCatholicnovels, short stories(American) The Sun Also Rises; The Old Man and the Sea
Carolivia HerronBaptistJudaismnovels; non-fiction; children's booksThereafter Jonnie; Nappy Hair
Gerard Manley Hopkins?Catholic (Jesuit priest)poems(British Victorian poet) The Windhover; Pied Beauty
Deal HudsonBaptist
CatholicphilosophyUnderstanding Maritain; professor at Fordham University; Editor of Crisis Magazine
Robert Hugh BensonAnglican
Catholicfantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, historical novelsLord of the World; The Dawn of All; The Light Invisible; A Mirror of Shalott; The Religion of the Plain Man; By What Authority?; The King's Achievement
Katherine KurtzChristian Church (Disciples of Christ); Roman Catholic; Old CatholicCeltic ChristianfantasyCamber of Culdi
Kathryn H. Kidd?Latter-day Saintscience fiction
Linda Hoffman KimballMethodistLatter-day Saintcontemporary fiction; essayHome to Roost
Ronald KnoxAnglican minsterCatholic priestmystery; satire;
Bible scholarship
The Viaduct Murder
Karl KrausJudaismCatholicsatire, essays, plays, poems(German/Austrian) The Last Days of Mankind
Neil LaBute
?Latter-day Saintscreenwriter; playwright"In the Company of Men"
Julius Lester
MethodistJudaismblack historyBlack Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story; From Slave Ship to Freedom Road; Lovesong: Becoming a Jew
Clare Boothe Luce
nonreligiousCatholicjournalist; playwrightStuffed Shirts; Europe in the Spring; Abide With Me; Kiss the Boys Goodbye
Margaret Marcus/
Maryam Jameelah
JudaismIslamessayist; poet
Lee Martin?Latter-day Saintmystery"Deb Ralston" series; e.g., Hacker
Daniel Moore/
Abd al-Hayy Moore
Zen BuddhismIslampoet "The Chronicles of Akhira", "Halley's Comet", Holograms
K. L. Morgan Latter-day Saintyoung adult fantasy; holidayCastledance
David Morse?Quakeralternative historyThe Iron Bridge
Michael McKennyBaha'iPaganfantasy"Slug Lizard"
Michael McNulty?Latter-day SaintdocumentariesWaco: Rules of Engagement (received an Emmy award and an Academy Award nomination)
Walter M. Miller, Jr.atheistCatholicscience fictionA Canticle for Leibowitz
John Henry NewmanAnglicanCatholic (cardinal) Apologia Pro Vita Sua, A Grammar of Assent
Walker Percyagnostic PresbyterianCatholiccontemporary fiction; philosophyThe Moviegoer
Anne Perry?Latter-day Saintmystery
The Sins of the Wolf
Katherine Ann Porter?Catholicshort stories, novels, essays(American) The Ship of Fools
Joseph RothJudaismCatholicnovels(German/Austrian) The Radetzky March
Jean Jacques RousseauCalvinistCatholicphilosophy, essays, some music(French) The Confessions; Emile
Mary Doria RussellCatholicJudaismscience fictionThe Sparrow
Frank SchaefferEvangelical; Protestant fundamentalismGreek Orthodoxcontemporary fiction; non-fiction religiousPortofino; Saving Grandma; The Scrapweed Goat
Laura Schlessingerfather: non-practicing Jew
mother: cultural Catholic
Orthodox Judaismself-help/adviceThe Ten Commandments: The Significance of God's Laws in Everyday Life
Joan Slonczewski?Quakerscience fiction
Daughter of Elysium
Cordwainer SmithMethodistEpiscopalianscience fictionNorstrilia
Eliza R. SnowDisciples of ChristLatter-day Saintpoetry; hymns; historyMy First View of a Western Prairie
Mickey SpillaneProtestantJehovah's Witnessesmystery/crimeThe Girl Hunters
received the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1995
D. T. SteinerCatholicWiccascience fiction"Moon Time"
Pamela TaylorAtheistIslamscience fiction"The Cathedral" in Citizen Culture Magazine, Feb 2005; "First Impressions" (comtemporary) and "Hajar's Long Walk" (fable) in Many Voices, One Faith: Islamic Writers Alliance Anthology 1 (2004)
Clarence ThomasBaptist
Catholiclaw"I Am a Man, a Black Man, an American"
many Supreme Court rulings, opinions, etc.
Juliet Thompson?Baha'iplaywrightI, Magdalene
J. R. R. TolkienProtestant (Methodist/Baptist/Anglican)CatholicfantasyThe Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings
Sigrid UndsetLutheranCatholicnovels(Norwegian) Kristin Lavransdatter
Evelyn Waugh?Catholicsatirical novels(English writer) Vile Bodies; A Handful of Dust
Sharon D. WelchRLDS
(now Community of Christ)
Unitarian-UniversalistfeministA Feminist Ethic of Risk (Other Feminist Voices); Sweet Dreams in America : Making Ethics and Spirituality Work; Communities of Resistance and Solidarity: A Feminist Theology of Liberation
Roger WhiteCatholicBaha'ipoetAnother Song, Another Season: Poems and Portrayals
Oscar WildeChurch of Ireland (Anglican)Catholicplays, short stories, novels(Anglo-Irish writer) The Happy Prince; The Picture of Dorian Gray
Gene WolfePresbyterianCatholicscience fictionThe Claw of the Conciliator
Michael WolfeChristian mother
Jewish father
IslamjournalistThe Hadj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca
Peter Q. Warinner Latter-day Saintscience fiction/fantasySumdar, the Tetralogy: Book One: Birth into Dreams (Wysteria Ltd., 2002); Clinical Microbiology Review (Wysteria); EKG and Heart Murmurs (Pocket Brain)
Dave Wolverton Latter-day Saintscience fiction/fantasyThe Courtship of Princess Leia; Runelords

* Many authors have converted more fully to the faith of their childhood, without switching denominational loyalties. For example, C. S. Lewis is often described as a convert to Christianity. It is true that he was, philosophically, an atheist for period of time, following which he gradually moved away from atheism until he became a life-long proponent of Christianity. But he was born into an Anglican family, baptized into the Church of England soon after his birth, and when he became actively religious again, it was in the Church of England. His is certainly an interesting and compelling story, but many other authors and individuals have had similar, albeit less publicized, experiences.

NOTE: "Latter-day Saint" refers to a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes abbreviated "LDS".

Note to authors: Adherents.com has no desire to intrude upon the personal lives of any individuals. The information on this page comes from publicly available files such as interviews, book notes, etc. All authors speak primarily through their writing. If anybody prefers to not be noted here, we will respect their request, remove the information and think nothing of it.

Web page created 6 January 2000. Last modified 29 May 2006.

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