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The Healing Power of Extraordinary Spiritual Experiences

Description: Abstract: Extraordinary spiritual experiences (ESEs) events that appear to be direct perception of spiritual facts, have a history in Western societies of being stigmatized and pathologized except within very limited religious contexts. That negative view has caused real harm to many "visionaries." But in the latter 20th century, social science research began to show that ESEs are actually common in the general population and that they are normal. Near-death experiences are a well-known example. The growing body of research literature suggests that many conventional theories about spirituality are empirically mistaken and that ESEs may have the potential to be powerfully health promoting. This emerging evidence creates both a great ethical obligation and a research opportunity.
Date: Spring 2014
Creator: Hufford, David
Partner: UNT Libraries