09 November 2010

Random Shout-Out Sunday

Well, it's not Sunday anymore, but it is random!  Time for another shout-out!

If you've been following my blog for a few months or more, you've probably realized I have a bit of a literary love affair going on with the Dirty Prophet, Andrew Bowen.  I first made Andrew's acquaintance when he accepted a short story of mine for publication in his online lit mag, Divine Dirt Quarterly, late last year, and I've been a fan ever since.  In addition to being proactive and full of interesting ideas, he has a brand new project that I'm very excited to tell you about.

For a bit more background info on Andrew, make sure you check out my conversations with the Dirty Prophet (shame on you if you haven't read it already!)  He was also recently interviewed by Lynn Alexander at PRATE, and she mentioned Jello World.... I'd be lying if I said I didn't go squeeee! when I saw it!  So, Andrew is a father and husband, a student of theology, founder and editor-in-chief of DDQ, is pioneering his own genre of theological fiction, has a forthcoming novella, and his short fiction has appeared in various magazines.  How much more can one man do, you ask?

How about take on a year-long project to explore various religions from the perspective of a new convert to each one?  Take on Dirty Prophet and twelve months of "spiritual promiscuity" and you get Project Conversion.  From the Project Conversion website:
Humanity has lost its mind, all because of religion. For a cultural phenomenon that’s existed as long as Man has been afraid of the dark, religion remains a divisive and misunderstood subject. A recent poll by The Pew Forum found that many religious groups know little to nothing about one another, or even their own theologies. People are afraid of what they don’t understand and willing to kill and die over their concept of the divine.
It’s time to lighten up.
Project Conversion: Twelve Months of Spiritual Promiscuity, has a mission: To enlighten and entertain. Over the course of a year, I will immerse myself in one religion per month. With the help of spiritual mentors and research, every step of the journey will be documented here via photos, video, and blog entry.
Should be fun. Will certainly be interesting, and hopefully by the end a few folks who may have been reticent to find out about a rival faith will learn something by vicariously practicing for a month through me.
 While I think it's a great idea that people will be able to learn from, as well as be entertained by, there will be those who don't share my opinion.  Some people are concerned that some faiths may be "butchered" by their portrayal in this experiment.  Andrew has addressed some of those concerns on his blog, which you can read here.  Whatever your opinion - positive, negative, or neutral - Project Conversion is definitely something to keep your eye on.  Here's a brief video from the project's donation page on Kickstarter.

If you wish to support Project Conversion, you can do so here.

So, to recap, here are all the places you can find out about Andrew and Project Conversion:
Andrew's blog, The Dirty Prophet 
Project Conversion website
Project Conversion on Facebook
Donation page at Kickstarter