Anthropology Colloquia: Dr. Tanya Luhrmann, Watkins University Professor, Stanford Anthropology Department

The Absorption Hypothesis: How People Learn to Hear God and Experience Spirituality

March 17th, Thursday, at 11:30 – 1:00 pm, Michael Ames Theatre Museum of Anthropology 6393 NW Marine Drive

Dr. Tanya Luhrmann is Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department.

ABSTRACT: What kind of skill? Both my ethnographic work and my psychological work have consistently found that
“absorption” is associated with experiences of God, both in America and abroad.
People who score highly on the absorption scale are more likely to say that they
experience God as a person; that they have a back and forth dialogue with God; that
that they have vivid sensory encounters with God (they hear his voice with their ears);
and that they have a range of other powerful and unusual spiritual experiences. So what
exactly IS absorption and how are spirituality and imagination related?

 

BIO: Tanya Luhrmann is Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology
Department. Her work focuses on the way that objects without material presence
become real to people. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
in 2003 and received a John Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2007.