Flights of the Soul

Flights of the Soul : Visions, Heavenly Journeys, and Peak Experiences in the Biblical World

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Reports of dreams, journeys into the heavens, and other alternate states of consciousness abound in the Old and New Testaments and in extrabiblical literature. While some scholars have considered such reports to be simple literary devices, John J. Pilch -- a leading expert in social scientific interpretation of the Bible -- believes otherwise. As Pilch points out, anthropological research on over 400 representative cultures in the world shows that more than ninety percent of these cultures have reported such experiences routinely. Factual or not, he says, biblical accounts of alternate consciousness are both plausible and significant because they constitute a very common, real, human experience in their respective cultures. Drawing on insights from from anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, and the social sciences, Pilch investigates and interprets Old and New Testament accounts of dreams, visions, journeys into the heavens, and other alternate states of consciousness within their cultural contexts. The result is a fresh and intriguing take on familiar biblical events. Flights of the Soul sheds new light on such things as these: * Ezekiel's prophetic visions * Enoch's sky journeys * Jesus' transfiguration and ascension * Resurrection appearances in the Gospels * Paul's ecstatic vision on the road to Damascus * John's heavenly journeys described in Revelationshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
  • Grand Rapids, United States
  • English
  • 0802865402
  • 9780802865403
  • 489,109

Review quote

-The scope of Pilch's scholarship is impressive: he offers enlightening perspectives on music, cultural anthropology, biblical interpretation, and alternate states of consciousness, referencing international and cross-cultural research and commentary. . . . Be prepared to have your assumptions challenged and 'the doors of perception cleansed' as you read and explore the possibilities in Flights of the Soul.- -- Belinda Gore President, Cuyamungue Institute -Considers topics that will be appealing and useful to students of the psychology of religion.- -- Mary Anne Siderits Marquette University -Nobody has done more than John Pilch to relate anthropological research on alternate states of consciousness to New Testament studies. His Flights of the Soul is a benchmark in this area.- -- Pieter F. Craffert University of South Africa, Pretoriashow more

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