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Reading Circle "Religious Experience in Contemporary Settings"


CERES Palais, room "Gandhara" (1.11)

This reading circle focuses the research literature on religious expierences in today's world. The meetings are usually in English and welcome all CERES researchers, visiting fellows and staff members. 

In When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God, psychological anthropologist Tanya M. Luhrmann investigates the neo-charismatic Vineyard Movement. Luhrmann spent years conducting ethnographic research in both Chicago and southern California in Vineyard congregations. She reveals how members engage in what she calls "the willing suspension of disbelief" by consciously pretending, like a game in their minds, that God is a real being to interact with; learning to discern God's voice in their internal monologues; and trying to master the art of prayer as a skill requiring intense effort and concentration in order to be able to communicate with God. In her accessible and captivating style, Luhrmann traces both the success and the failures of congregants as they try to establish real, personal, intimate and lasting relationships with God.

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