This collection of essays continues the investigation of religious experience in early Judaism and early Christianity begun in Experientia, Volume 1, by addressing one of the traditional objections to the study of experience in antiquity. The authors address the relationship between the surviving evidence, which is textual, and the religious experiences that precede or ensue from those texts. Drawing on insights from anthropology, sociology, social memory theory, neuroscience, and cognitive science, they explore a range of religious phenomena including worship, the act of public reading, ritual, ecstasy, mystical ascent, and the transformation of gender and of emotions. Through careful and theoretically informed work, the authors demonstrate the possibility of moving from written documents to assess the lived experiences that are linked to them. The contributors are István Czachesz, Frances Flannery, Robin Griffith-Jones, Angela Kim Harkins, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, John R. Levison, Carol A. Newsom, Rollin A. Ramsaran, Colleen Shantz, Leif E. Vaage, and Rodney A. Werline.
Colleen Shantz is Associate Professor of New Testament at St. Michael’s College in the Toronto School of Theology. She is the author of Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle’s Life and Thought (Cambridge University Press) and the co-editor of Experientia, Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity (Society of Biblical Literature). She chairs the Religious Experience section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Rodney A. Werline is Associate Professor and the Marie and Leman Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Barton College, Wilson, North Carolina. He is the author of Pray Like This (Continuum) and Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism: The Development of a Religious Institution (Society of Biblical Literature) and the co-editor of numerous volumes including Experientia, Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity (Society of Biblical Literature).
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