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Embodied Spirituality

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Summary The main findings on embodied spirituality within the Toronto Blessing are presented in this article. The aim of this study is to interpret ecstatic religious experiences from a psychological point of view. The theoretical framework is interdisciplinary, using theories from ego-psychology, social psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and ritual theory. Regarding the latter notion, Thomas Csordas has developed cultural phenomenology, which is a culturally constructed way of understanding a situation through using bodily senses in a sort of sensory engagement that is linked with inter-subjectivity. This way of thinking assumes that the body can impart knowledge and help us understand apparently non-rational phenomena. Ecstatic phenomena can be interpreted as bodily knowledge, a habitus, stored or saved in the body to be later activated in a cultural and ritual context.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Humanities and Education, University of Agder Post Box 422, NO-4604, Kristiansand Norway Dagfinn.Ulland@uia.no

10.1163/157361212X645340
/content/journals/10.1163/157361212x645340
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Summary The main findings on embodied spirituality within the Toronto Blessing are presented in this article. The aim of this study is to interpret ecstatic religious experiences from a psychological point of view. The theoretical framework is interdisciplinary, using theories from ego-psychology, social psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and ritual theory. Regarding the latter notion, Thomas Csordas has developed cultural phenomenology, which is a culturally constructed way of understanding a situation through using bodily senses in a sort of sensory engagement that is linked with inter-subjectivity. This way of thinking assumes that the body can impart knowledge and help us understand apparently non-rational phenomena. Ecstatic phenomena can be interpreted as bodily knowledge, a habitus, stored or saved in the body to be later activated in a cultural and ritual context.

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2012-01-01
2017-04-27

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