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Religious experience reconsidered : a building block approach to the study of religion and other special things / Ann Taves.

By: Taves, Ann, 1952-.
Contributor(s): ebrary, Inc.
Material type: TextTextSeries: ebrary.Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2009Description: xv, 212 p.ISBN: 9780691140872 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Experience (Religion) | Meaning (Philosophy) -- Religious aspectsLOC classification: BL53 | .T39 2009Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
BL53 .T39 2009 (Browse shelf) Available ebr10331733

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2009. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Since the demise of the sui generis or essentialist approach to the study of religious phenomena pursued by such scholars as Rudolf Otto, Mircea Eliade, and Ninian Smart, many theories and methods compete as strategies for research and interpretation/explanation. The theory that Taves (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) proposes will rank among the very best because of its clarity and coherence of argument, its concise terms and substantive concepts, and its potential for stimulating research and writing in the field of religious studies. Taves writes in conversation with contemporary scholars in cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, and comparative religion. She moves the idea of religious experience to the center of inquiry and incorporates both humanistic and scientific procedures. She advocates a "building block approach" that draws attention to the components assembled in particular sociocultural formations that, in the cultural process of ascribing "special" qualities to something, thus deem it "religious" and then mark it as singular or set apart as a core value in particular cultures. Taves devotes chapters to experience and consciousness, explanation and causality, and comparison and the focus of investigation. This book is clearly written, intellectually stimulating, and theoretically exciting. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above; general readers. L. J. Alderink emeritus, Concordia College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Ann Taves is professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and past president of the American Academy of Religion. Her books include Fits, Trances, and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton).

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