Conn, Walter E. Christian Conversion: A Developmental Interpretation of Autonomy and Surrender. New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
Walter E. Conn is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. He is also the editor of Horizons, journal of the College Theology Society.
Walter Conn explores the idea Christian conversion through the filter of developmental psychology.
“Because the great advances in psychology of the last half century have added enormously to our knowledge of moral-religious consciousness, demonstrating conclusively that it must be understood developmentally, Chapters 2 and 3 will root this study’s interpretation of conscience and conversion in a psychological context of personal development drawn from the research findings and theories of Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, James Fowler and Robert Kegan. They will show how these psychological theories implicitly use self-transcendence as a criterion of mature personal development. They will also argue that these psychological theories establish the normative meaning of self-transcendence in a concrete and especially illuminating fashion, and thus provide an integrated model of self-transcending subjectivity.”