The presence of non-ordinary entities plays a central role in religious traditions. In this talk, Taves discusses how historians can tease apart the stories of angels and apparitions to try to understand the process that people went through as they struggled to understand what was happening and considers how groups, including those that eventually become new religions, stabilize interpretations of these ambiguous events.
Ann Taves is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and past president of the American Academy of Religion. Her most recent books include Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things, winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Fits, Trances, and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James, winner of the 2000 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy and Religion.
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