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The Resurrection of Spiritual Experience as Legitimating Evidence By Dan Davis.

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1 The Resurrection of Spiritual Experience as Legitimating Evidence By Dan Davis

2 Culture Shift  30 is the new 20  Green is the new Black  Spirituality is the new Religiosity  The Mystical is the New Empirical

3 Richard Flory & Don Miller, USC “Rationalistic apologetics are largely irrelevant to [GenX] religious commitments, having been replaced by an experience-based epistemology.” From: GenX Religion (2002)

4 Tanya Luhrmann: Metakinesis  Dance Criticism: “An inner mimicry of the movement onstage, essentially internalizing the dance into one’s own neuromuscular system. The initial act of perception took place through the external senses, a passive absorption of spectacle and sound through the eyes and ears; this evolved, however, into a feeling deep within the spectator's own body.”  She writes (2009), “Words like peace, grace, falling in love with Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, model specific ways of experiencing the body.” To put it simply, people engaged in various forms of mystical experience can feel the spiritual encounter within their bodies.

5 Nicole- 31, Female, Charismatic Christian “I felt God’s love overwhelm me. It was like a wave of warmth. My body felt very light and the room seemed brighter. Then I heard God speak from within so loudly and clearly it was almost audible.”

6 Nationwide:  Gallup, 1964: “Have you undergone a religious experience of some variety?” ○ 20% Yes  GSS, 2004: “Do you feel God’s presence,” most days or more? ○ 60% Yes  Baylor, 2008: “I felt called by God to do something.” ○ 44% Yes  “I heard the voice of God speaking to me.” ○ 20% Yes

7 Gender*** & Race*** on Religion: Report Charismatic Religious Experiences:  W-50% M-38% Pray Daily:  W-57% M-40% Report Daily Experiences of God at High Levels:  W-51% M-32% Why? Risk Taking? Evolutionary Theory? Intersectionality?

8 Don Miller, Presidential Address [SSSR, 2006]:  “I have become deeply suspicious of reductionistic and purely functional theories of religion.”  “Beliefs are important, but religion is not something located exclusively in the head; it involves all of the senses.”

9 Key Points:  Subjective Empiricism- culture shows a growing epistemology of experience  A shift toward Spirituality (Intrinsic), and away from Religiosity (Extrinsic)  Thriving New Movements are going to be more holistic: embodied, affective/emotive, and intellectual.

10 Experiencing God- Christians in the GSS, 2004  How often do you feel God’s love directly? [72%]  How often do you feel God’s presence? [70%]  How often do you feel God’s guidance in the midst of daily activities? [63%]  1-6 Frequencies: “Never” to “Many times a day”  3-18 point score, broken into quartiles

11 Noise  Hours spent watching TV per day  How often R finds work to be stressful  Hours spent on the internet per week  Is R inclined to feel like a failure?  Is R having trouble with their spouse?  Condition of R’s health  Change in R’s financial situation in past year  Size of R’s place by nearest 1,000

12 Religious Participation Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient rsrs Desire to be closer to God.685*** Frequency of prayer.603*** Frequency of church attendance.476*** Strength of church affiliation.368* *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

13 Compassion Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient rsrs Feel a selfless caring for others.508*** Tender feelings for the less fortunate.208*** Given food or $ to homeless person.195*** Given $ to a charity.158*** Volunteered for a charity.094** *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001

14 Compassion as Spiritually Transformative? Low Exp. GodHigh Exp. God Low Compassion 36.7% High Compassion 2.5%83.0%

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