Posts tagged "Tanya Luhrmann"
T.M. Luhrmann’s Theory on Voices and Tulpa-Gods in Your Head

T.M. Luhrmann’s Theory on Voices and Tulpa-Gods in Your Head

I’ve just begun reading When God Talks Back, by T.M. Luhrmann, which is a psychological and sociological study, of the life of American Evangelicalism. Luhrmann looks with sober, even compassionate, appraisal within a Vineyard church in her community, where she spends two years “studying” the psychological dimensions of a faith community, of “having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” If you’re familiar with the Evangelical trappings, she covers the whole bit–the coffee lead-in to worship, the very long worship as an individualized space to invite the Spirit, the “teaching” rather than the sermon, phrases like “God really showed up this…

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Spiritual Warfare 2.0: How Prayer is Not a Video Game

Spiritual Warfare 2.0: How Prayer is Not a Video Game

Anthropologist and author T. M. Luhrmann has written a guest column for The New York Times this week called “Addicted to Prayer.” Luhrmann, who has spent time studying the American evangelical community and written a book on “the evangelical relationship with God”, discusses the benefits of any kind of prayer (including secular meditation) on health. She also, however, distinguishes the idea of spiritual warfare from other forms of prayer, and warns that any practice too “imaginative” can actually be detrimental. Luhrmann describes her wariness like this:

I was most struck by the dangers of prayer when people got deeply involved with…

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Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

1. Forgiveness and apology seems to be a theme in the news as of late, or at least it was prior to Monday’s heartbreaking news from Boston. CNN’s belief blog highlighted the story of one man’s quest to forgive and restore the man who killed his brother when they were teens. I found the story enlightening as it ping-ponged between the two poles of forgiveness by grace (the victim’s brother) and forgiveness by works righteousness (the recently released killer). Quote: “I think for me, forgiveness will come in doing good works, trying to help others. But as far as forgiving…

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Another Week Ends: Schismogenesis, Megachurch Funerals, Accidental Theology, Smartphone Shrinks, Mean Professors, Nocebos, Zooropa and Elysium

Another Week Ends: Schismogenesis, Megachurch Funerals, Accidental Theology, Smartphone Shrinks, Mean Professors, Nocebos, Zooropa and Elysium

1. The NY Times published a wise op-ed from sociologist Tanya Luhrmann this past week on the the subject of “How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect”. She begins the column by recounting a disconcerting experience she had promoting her terrific book, When God Talks Back, on a Christian radio station. Luhrmann does not self-identify as a Christian, which the host of the show apparently took as a cue to berate her into converting on air (rather than dig into a book that has quite a bit of sympathetic material to relate). Now, God only knows what exactly the motivation/justification at…

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Another Week Ends: Heresy vs. Apathy, Cartoon Boba Fett, Grown-Up Three-Year-Olds, Krampus, Winning the Lottery, More Deep Blue Sea, and Seeing God

Another Week Ends: Heresy vs. Apathy, Cartoon Boba Fett, Grown-Up Three-Year-Olds, Krampus, Winning the Lottery, More Deep Blue Sea, and Seeing God

1. Another fascinating piece by Tanya Luhrmann over at the New York Times argues that “Hark, the Herald Angels Didn’t Sing.” Amidst sobering reminders from strict biblical constructionists that many Christmas details are imagined or embellished, Luhrmann advocates a middle road for how to engage the Bible with imagination, ht SZ:

I am no theologian and I do not think that social science can weigh in on the question of who God is or whether God is real. But I think that anthropology offers some insight into why imaginatively enriching a text taken as literally true helps some Christians to hang on…

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Another Week Ends: Our Dreams, Pixar and Brave Honesty, Lebron Bravery, Why Americans Apologize, Why Ryan Leaf Wants Prison, Why Women Pray More

Another Week Ends: Our Dreams, Pixar and Brave Honesty, Lebron Bravery, Why Americans Apologize, Why Ryan Leaf Wants Prison, Why Women Pray More

1) The Harvard Business Review released a behavioral study on the divergent ways apologies happen in American and Japanese sociality. It turns out not everyone apologizes in a way that implicates the apologizer as guilty (who knew?)…What’s more interesting, though, is the connection made between implied guilt and trust, that the Japanese way of apologizing without direct condemnation of personal responsibility actually allows for trust to be repaired more quickly, while the American (Western) way of the “apologizing culprit” tends to falsely distinguish sheeps from goats, making lines between those who have flaws and make mistakes from those who do…

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Alien Righteousness: Reflections on Prometheus and its “Sequels”

Alien Righteousness: Reflections on Prometheus and its “Sequels”

It’s time to talk about Prometheus. If you haven’t seen it, probably best to stop reading now [rhymes with 'boiler inert']. But before we do, a few reflections on the franchise out of whose chest it sprang.

For all of its flaws, the Alien quadrilogy has aged remarkably well. In fact, the flaws are a big part of what makes the series so fascinating. The first installment notwithstanding, that is – it is essentially flawless. Alien might be that rare film that creates its own genre while spinning a narrative so engrossing and visually astounding that its filmic “importance” becomes secondary…

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