Luhrmann's ethnographic and psychological work have both consistently found that "absorption" is central to one's having experiences of God - in the US and abroad. People who score highly on the absorption scale are more likely to say they experience God as a person, they have a back-and-forth dialogue with God, 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.
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