Handbook of Religious Experience (Religion Education Press Handbook)

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9780891350941: Handbook of Religious Experience (Religion Education Press Handbook)

HANDBOOK OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE is generally recognized as the classic book on the psychology of religious experience. It is the gold standard against which other books in this field are measured. This monumental volume examines in great breadth and depth the nature, roots, ecology, expressions, explanations, and facilitational modes of religious experience. Ultimately, religious experience is central since it is the source, context, and validation of all religion, all religious activities, and all theories of religion. Scripture and sacrament are basically religious experiences. Religious experience is basically the encounter with God in its highest form.

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About the Author:

Ralph W. Hood, Jr., is a social psychologist with a long-standing interest in the psychology of religion. He is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Although not a fundamentalist, Dr. Hood believes that fundamentalism has been poorly portrayed in the psychology of religion by researchers and scholars who are so distant from the assumptions and worldview of fundamentalists that they offer explanations for a phenomenon they have not adequately or fairly described.
Peter C. Hill was raised an evangelical in a family strongly committed to the church. He is currently a professor of psychology at Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology. Biola University played a significant role in the early days of the Protestant fundamentalist movement and today identifies itself as an "interdenominational and yet theologically conservative" institution. The Rosemead School of Psychology seeks to advance a psychologically and Christian theologically integrated understanding of human nature.
W. Paul Williamson was born the son of a Church of God (of Prophecy) minister. He followed in his father's footsteps and became an ordained minister in the denomination, serving 17 years of full-time ministry. During his doctoral studies, he felt the need to resign from the clergy and from his affiliation with the church to pursue a career in academic psychology. He is currently an assistant professor of psychology at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Dr. Williamson draws upon a wealth of experience in a Pentecostal tradition, both as a former member and as clergy, allowing him unique insights into its fundamentalist worldview.

Review:

Handbook of Religious Experience examines in great breadth and depth the nature, roots, ecology, expressions, explanations, and facilitational modes of religious experience. Ultimately, religious experience is central since it is the source, context, and validation of all religion, religious activities, and theories of religion. Scripture and sacrament are basically religious experiences. Religious experiences is a human phenomenon -- indeed the pinnacle of human phenomena. Yet surprisingly, and tragically, the distinctly human element of religious experience has been previously examined only in a sporadic and scattered fashion. The Handbook of Religious Experience endeavors to remedy this glaring defect by presenting an extraordinarily wide-ranging relatively coordinated examination of religious experience from a great variety of interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary perspectives. -- Midwest Book Review

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