Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God  -     By: John J. Pilch
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Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God

Liturgical Press / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Trances visions, healing miracles: permeating the biblical records are these altered states of consciousness, through which some early Christians experienced God. Today's rituals and liturgies are related to those experiences, which have become significant elements in the Christian tradition and mysticism. Pilch uses cultural anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and medical anthropology to interpret these past events, and to explore the contemporary liturgical potential of this new understanding. Easily understood, and backed with solid, scientific insights, this interdisciplinary book will help the reader gain appreciation of our ancestors' faith and the power of Scripture and liturgy.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 200
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0814627978
ISBN-13: 9780814627976
Availability: Available to ship on or about 10/18/14.

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Publisher's Description

Trances, visions, healing miracles: permeating the biblical records are these altered states of consciousness, through which some early Christians experienced God. Today's rituals and liturgies are related to those experiences, which have become significant elements in the Christian tradition and mysticism. Pilch uses cultural anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and medical anthropology to interpret these past events, and to explore the contemporary liturgical potential of this new understanding. Easily understood, and backed with solid, scientific insights, this interdisciplinary book will help the reader gain appreciation of our ancestors' faith and the power of Scripture and liturgy.

Author Bio

John J. Pilch, PhD, is professor of theology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is author of numerous articles and books, including ,Visions and Healing in Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God(Liturgical Press, 2004). He is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and the International Society for Shamanistic Research, among other professional organizations.

Editorial Reviews

Once again, P. has opened fresh windows into biblical culture. . . . both professional and popular readers should be spurred by this succinct volume to explore further the multiple dimensions of ASC in the biblical world—and our own.

The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Offering insights that resonate within the realm of understanding regardless of whether one believes the Apostles’ visions to be literally factual or subject to interpretation, Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles is a welcome addition to religious studies shelves.
The Midwest Book Review, Reviewer’s Bookwatch

Whether the reader holds that Acts is literal, fact with interpretation or a composition of stories, this book connects literary and theological perspective to the stories and trances and explores the cultural traditions that surround the altered states of consciousness.
Catholic Books review, Catholic Studies

If you want to get caught up in the scientific world, read this book. . .exposure to this thinking is the payoff.
Tidings

Bravo, John Pilch! Drawing upon his considerable skill as a Biblical scholar as well as several years’ experience in the method we call ‘ecstatic trance,’ Pilch writes with authority on trance and visions in the early Christian church. He recognizes that these ‘journeys into the realm of God’ require interpretation and guides us through an understanding of the nature of the trance state and the cultural worldview of the Mediterranean Christians we know as the apostles. His work is a valuable contribution toward restoring an appreciation for our common ability to experience these visionary states of consciousness.
Belinda Gore, Psychologist and President, The Cuyamungue Institute

Whether the reader holds that Acts is literal, fact with interpretation or a composition of stories, this book connects literary and theological perspective to the stories and trances and explores the cultural traditions that surround the altered states of consciousness.
CRUX of the News

Pilch has successfully demonstrated that visions and trances, far from being unusual and peripheral, are vital and central to the experience of God throughout the book of Acts. Drawing on contemporary, cross-cultural research into alternative states of consciousness (ASC), Pilch has opened up a whole new way of 'seeing' Acts, with profound implications for personal spirituality, pastoral ministry, and the mission of the church. In our increasingly visual society, this book charts fresh paths through familiar biblical terrain for envisioning God anew today.
Fr. Scott Spencer, Professor of New Testament, Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia

Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles is a clear and cogent examination of how first-century readers and hearers likely interpreted religious ecstatic trance experiences and healing events as reported by Luke. Pilch's application of cultural anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and medical anthropology to these events is enhanced by sets of reflection questions that invite students to a deeper understanding of the ancient world and of their own experience of God in the everyday phenomenon of trance. This book, suitable not only for the university classroom but also for adult Christian formation in a parish or diocesan setting, is a resource that will enhance literary and theological treatments of Acts.
Joan C. Campbell, CSM, Toronto, Ontario

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