How to Talk About Spiritual Encounters

How to Talk About Spiritual Encounters

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Description

This book develops a new and innovative way of understanding how language is used when people describe their spiritual and mystical encounters. Early chapters provide overviews of the nature of spiritual encounters, how commonly they occur, and the role of language. The book then develops a unique way of understanding the dynamics of talking about spirituality, using original research to support this perspective. In particular, Peter J. Adams explores how this characteristically vague way of speaking can be viewed as an intentional and not an incidental aspect of such communications because certain types of vagueness have the capacity to engage the imaginative participation of receptive listeners. This expressive vagueness is achieved by embedding missing bits, or "gaps," in the flow of what is described and these in turn provide sites for listeners to insert their own content. Later chapters focus on practical ways people (including helping professionals) can improve their skills in talking about their spiritual encounters. All content is situated in cafe conversations between four people each of whom is, in their own way, concerned with the challenges they face in converting the content of their encounters into words.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 327 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 22.35mm | 593g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2020
  • 19 Illustrations, black and white; VIII, 327 p. 19 illus.
  • 3030452077
  • 9783030452070
  • 2,689,844

Back cover copy

This book develops a new and innovative way of understanding how language is used when people describe their spiritual and mystical encounters. Early chapters provide overviews of the nature of spiritual encounters, how commonly they occur, and the role of language. The book then develops a unique way of understanding the dynamics of talking about spirituality, using original research to supports this perspective. In particular, Peter J. Adams explores how this characteristically vague way of speaking can be viewed as an intentional and not an incidental aspect of such communications because certain types of vagueness have the capacity to engage the imaginative participation of receptive listeners. This expressive vagueness is achieved by embedding missing bits, or "gaps", in the flow of what is described and these in turn provide sites for listeners to insert their own content. Later chapters focus on practical ways people (including helping professionals) can improve their skills in talking about their spiritual encounters. All content is situated in café conversations between four people each of whom is, in their own way, concerned with the challenges they face in converting the content of their encounters into words.
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Table of contents

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 Introduction Cafe CapriChapter 2 Describing EncountersChapter 3. Trouble TalkingChapter 4 Making It Happen?Chapter 5 Collecting SpecimensChapter 6 The Rhetorical TurnChapter 7 Big Devices, Little DevicesChapter 8 Expressive VaguenessChapter 9 Provocative GapsChapter 10 Gaps by Missing Content Chapter 11 Gaps by Grammatical ShiftsChapter 12 Gaps by MetaphorChapter 13 Gaps by MarkingChapter 14 Counting ExercisesChapter 15 Are they Unique?Chapter 16 God-TalkChapter 17 Reducing ReluctanceChapter 18 Device PlayChapter 19 Creating a Description Chapter 20 Practitioner OpportunitiesChapter 21 Fostering Gap TalkChapter 22 Postscript

Appendix 1Appendix 2BibliographyNotes
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About Peter J. Adams

Peter J. Adams practiced for many years as a clinical psychologist working with adults facing mental health, addictions, violence and life-change issues. He is currently a professor of population health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand..
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