princeton university press religious experience reconsidered a building-block approach to the study of religion and other special things oct 2009

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[...]... much of the material with me in another format I am grateful to Melinda Pitarre for assistance in the coding of the personal narratives in chapter 3 and with the bibliography Bill Christian, visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, during Spring Quarter, enthusiastically plied me with examples of “singularization” and special things, ” and a conference on Religious Ritual,... own and that of others) and how it acquires meaning as it arises in the body and through interaction with others A more dynamic model of how we articulate our own experience and that of others illuminates a range of data that we can gather about experience and allows us to reconsider the relationship between experience and representation in some specific cases Religious Experience   •  13 (dreams,... study of religion apart and protects it with taboos against comparing it with nonreligious things If instead we situate the processes whereby people characterize things as religious, mystical, magical, and so forth within larger processes of meaning making and valuation (singularization), we are better able to analyze the contestations over the meaning and value of particular things and the way that those... set apart, on the one hand, and the systems of beliefs and practices that some people associate with some special things, on the other The former involves a simple ascription (of specialness) and the latter a composite ascription (of efficacy to practices associated with special things) characteristic of what we think of as religions or spiritualities The Sui Generis and Ascriptive Models of Religious. .. seminar— Robert Borneman, Jared Lindahl, Andrew Mansfield, Andrea Neuhoff, Albert Silva, and Kristy Slominski—hammered away at the first draft of the manuscript, especially the first chapter Their feedback was invaluable and much of it has been incorporated in the final revision In the Spring Quarter, Todd Foose and Brian Zeiden, my teaching assistants for an undergraduate course in psychology and religion, ... us to sort out who is deeming things religious or characterizing them as special and on what grounds, both at the level of scholarship and that of general human behavior Analysis of the different ways that things can be set apart as special and protected by taboos will suggest that the sui generis approach to the study of religion, which defines religion in terms of religious experience, sets the study. .. things To understand how and why people deem things religious and allow researchers to explore the making and unmaking of religion How do they relate to other things? Religious experience is set apart from other experiences and tacitly protected from comparison with them Experiences deemed religious are viewed in relation to other experiences and subject to comparison with them sui generis approach arguing... of religion] ; and Clayton 2004; Clayton and Davies 2006 [in religious studies]) Religious Experience   •  15 Third, an attributional approach allows us to view experiences and especially unusual experiences—as a subset of the many special things that may be incorporated into the more complex formations we think of as “religions.” The twentieth-century focus on religious experience rather than experiences... starting to write and married days after the first draft was completed, I am grateful to him for much more than reading and editing As my companion and conversation partner in all aspects of life, I dedicate this book to him Preface For reasons of temperament and training, I find it natural and exciting to make forays across what many scholars see as an unbridgeable divide between the humanities and. .. Cognition, and Culture at the University of Aarhus in May 2008 provided the occasion for further testing and revision of these ideas Special thanks are due to Fred Appel, my editor at Princeton University Press, and my husband, Ray Paloutzian, both of whom have read, edited, and commented on numerous drafts of every chapter Fred, as the Press s senior editor for religion, music, and anthropology, made sure . Borneman, Jared Lindahl, Andrew Manseld, Andrea Neuhoff, Albert Silva, and Kristy Slominski—hammered away at the rst draft of the manuscript, especially the rst chapter. Their feedback was. objections to the approach I am advocating. First, they suggest that the subject matter is passé in an era that has abandoned experience for discourse about experience. Second, they worry that an approach. bibliography. Bill Christian, visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, during Spring Quarter, enthusiastically plied me with examples of “singularization” and special things, ”
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