Damanhur Inside Out

Former Damanhurians on the outside talk about life on the inside

Taking leave of Damanhur

The following article is based on research first published by Turin University Sociologists Mario Cardano and Nicola Pannofino in their ground breaking book ‘Piccole Apostasie’. The article, available here in English, is in its pre-print version and was originally published by Sage Journals in June 2018.



Taking leave of Damanhur. Deconversion from a magico-esoteric community

Torino University, Italy
Torino University, Italy

This article deals with an aspect of religious behavior that has remained in the shadows, both in the scientific literature and in public discourse: deconversion from New Religious Movements. The article analyses the deconversion from a magico-esoteric community located in Northern Italy: Damanhur. Founded in the 1970s, Damanhur is one of Europe’s major spiritual communities that counts about 400 devotees. The article starts with an outline of the process of deconversion, followed by a brief description of the religious organization studied. Lastly, the process of disaffiliation from Damanhur, is reconstructed, through the close reading of twenty narratives of deconversion of former Damanhurians interviewed in 2010. The process of deconversion is analysed, distinguishing four ideal-typical steps that repropose the main results of the research in this field. They are the coming out of a vague and unfocused discomfort; the attempt to deconstruct the discomfort; the opening of a reflexive instance; and the departure from the community.

To read the full article open the pdf pre-print file here:@ CARDANO PANNOFINO Taking leave of Damanhur PREPRINT VERSION


Written by damanhurinsideout

June 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

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