Psychologists call it “intrapsychic phenomenon.” Mathematician and Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal could describe the exact moments: Monday, Nov. 23, 1654, from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

St. Augustine describes it as a voice from a “neighboring house … as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating, ‘Take up and read; Take up and read.'”

Religious conversion can be dramatic or intimate and small, just a change of heart.

Science has tried to quantify and understand the experience that is often described by those who have experienced it in deeply felt language.

Psychologist L.R. Rambo, in “Understanding Religious Conversion,” divides the experience into seven steps: context, crisis, quest, encounter, interaction, commitment and consequences.

But often at the heart of conversion stories are powerful tales of dramatic change.

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