Kindling God: How People Experience the Divine "Lecture 2: What Kind of Skill?"

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What Kind of Skill?

Both Luhrmann’s ethnographic and psychological work have consistently found that “absorption” is central to one’s having experiences of God, both in America and abroad. People who score highly on the absorption scale are more likely to say that they experience God as a person, that they have a back-and-forth dialogue with God, that that they have vivid sensory encounters with God (they hear his voice with their ears), and that they have a range of other powerful and unusual

spiritual experiences. Her work also finds that absorption can be understood to be a skill, and that people get better at absorption over time. This lecture presents that data, discusses its implications, and raises the question of the role of the skilled imagination in enabling spiritual encounter. Attendees will be able to (1) describe the role of the trait of “absorption” in religious experience and (2) compare and contrast the role of absorption in three different cultures.

Respondent: William A. Dyrness, PhD, Professor of Theology and Culture


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Integration Symposium Session 2_final.mp3




Travis Auditorium, Fuller Theological Seminary


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