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Transcendent Experience And Health: Concepts, Cases, And Sociological Themes

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Chapter Summary

Unitive, mystical, or transcendent experiences; subjective perceptions of connection with God or the divine; spiritual rebirth - for biomedicine these concepts are regarded as wholly subjective, perhaps products of delusion, and thus intractable from a research standpoint. As even sociologists of religion focus their psychometric efforts elsewhere, there is little extant scholarship on religious experience and health, except for a few one-off studies. Among myriad classes and types of religious experiences, the most mysterious go by many names: noetic, mystical, unitive, transpersonal, transcendent. While these terms do not designate precisely the same thing, they have much in common, especially in comparison with experiences that define or result from normative religious practice and with experiences even farther out, conceptually, in the spiritual cosmos. Finally for seekers of the transcendent, or of wellness or healing through experience of transcendent states, the quest may be about more than one's circumstances.

Keywords: God; health; myriad classes; religion; sociologists; spiritual cosmos; spiritual rebirth; transcendent experience



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