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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Living With Tiny Aliens: The Image Of God For The Anthropocene [Table Of Contents], Adam Pryor May 2020

Living With Tiny Aliens: The Image Of God For The Anthropocene [Table Of Contents], Adam Pryor

Religion

Astrobiology is changing how we understand meaningful human existence. As astrobiologically aware human beings, we must confront our deepened anxiety arising in the face of our own contingency—realizing how deeply tethered we are to the moments this pale blue dot exists in the universe. At the same time, our astrobiological awareness is opening a horizon to the exciting possibility of understanding our humanity in relation not only to a planet burgeoning with life, but a cosmos pregnant with living-possibilities.

Touching upon both these issues, this work provides an approach to astrobiological humanities: helping figure expressive modes by which human ...


Welcoming Finitude: Toward A Phenomenology Of Orthodox Liturgy [Table Of Contents], Christina M. Gschwandtner Oct 2019

Welcoming Finitude: Toward A Phenomenology Of Orthodox Liturgy [Table Of Contents], Christina M. Gschwandtner

Philosophy

What does it mean to experience and engage in religious ritual? How does liturgy structure time and space? How do our bodies move within liturgy, and what impact does it have on our senses? How does the experience of ritual affect us and shape our emotions or dispositions? How is liturgy experienced as a communal event, and how does it form the identity of those who participate in it? Welcoming Finitude explores these broader questions about religious experience by focusing on the manifestation of liturgical experience in the Eastern Christian tradition. Drawing on the methodological tools of contemporary phenomenology and ...


Baruch Spinoza As A Jewish Thinker, Lucas Waggoner Oct 2019

Baruch Spinoza As A Jewish Thinker, Lucas Waggoner

PPPA Paper Prize

Despite being born Jewish, Baruch Spinoza has long been shunned from the canon of Jewish thought. The Jewish community of Amsterdam excommunicated him. Today, the secular world too refuses to acknowledge him as a Jewish thinker. Spinoza is divorced from his context. Recovering the Spinoza's context requires showing that he can still be considered a Jewish thinker. This can be done based on three criteria: his view on God, his perspective on scripture, and his position on the nature of the soul.


Is Ai Intelligent, Really?, Bruce D. Baker Aug 2019

Is Ai Intelligent, Really?, Bruce D. Baker

SPU Works

The question of intelligence opens up a bouquet of interrelated questions:

Suppose that some future AGI systems (on-screen or robots) equaled human performance. Would they have real intelligence, real understanding, real creativity? Would they have selves, moral standing, free choice? Would they be conscious? And without consciousness, could they have any of those other properties?[1]

The only way out of the morass is to recognize that truth claims do not stand on their own, aloof and cut off from the sea of meaning which grants epistemic access. In other words, truth presumes access to: (1) a way of knowing ...


Copernicus Banned: The Entangled Matter Of The Anti-Copernican Decree Of 1616, Maurice A. Finocchiaro Aug 2019

Copernicus Banned: The Entangled Matter Of The Anti-Copernican Decree Of 1616, Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The year 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s prohibition of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus (1543) and condemnation of the idea of a moving earth as false and contrary to Scripture. Some institutions and scholars marked the occurrence with conferences, exhibitions, and publications. The present volume is one such example.


Intimations Of A Spiritual New Age: Ii. Wilhelm Reich As Transpersonal Psychologist Part 2: The Futural Promise Of Reich’S Naturalistic Bio-Energetic Spirituality, Harry T. Hunt Jul 2019

Intimations Of A Spiritual New Age: Ii. Wilhelm Reich As Transpersonal Psychologist Part 2: The Futural Promise Of Reich’S Naturalistic Bio-Energetic Spirituality, Harry T. Hunt

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This is the second part of a consideration of the later Wilhelm Reich as anticipating a future planetary-wide “New Age” form of this-worldly spirituality in ways overlapping with figures from the same era of Western crisis from the 1930s through the 1950s, including Jung, Toynbee, Bergson, Heidegger, Teilhard de Chardin, and Simone Weil. Where the first part of this treatment of Reich as transpersonal psychologist traced his evolution from his bio-energetic psychotherapy to a Weberian this-worldly mysticism of a universal life energy, his cosmic orgone, with its attendant features of conflicted “spiritual emergency,” this second paper seeks to further develop ...


Amigeist: A New Extreme Love Phenomenon, Jeffrey Sundberg Jul 2019

Amigeist: A New Extreme Love Phenomenon, Jeffrey Sundberg

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Falling in love may begin with an inescapable, uncontrollable, transformative experience of intense emotions and intrusive thoughts, such as limerence. Romantic love researchers have tended to lump extreme love into pathology. Transpersonal psychology was chosen as the lens to examine an extreme occurrence of falling in love for its transformational and spiritual potential using a phenomenological approach. Twenty-five U.S. born participants, age 30 or older, reported experiencing a highly intense and deeply significant romantic love occurrence. Results revealed a unique experience with limited correlations to limerence. The new phenomenon is called amigeist, characterized by immediate, intense soul-mate bonding, such ...


Intimations Of A Spiritual New Age: Ii. Wilhelm Reich As Transpersonal Psychologist. Part I: Context, Development, And Crisis In Reich’S Bio-Energetic Spiritual Psychology, Harry T. Hunt Jul 2019

Intimations Of A Spiritual New Age: Ii. Wilhelm Reich As Transpersonal Psychologist. Part I: Context, Development, And Crisis In Reich’S Bio-Energetic Spiritual Psychology, Harry T. Hunt

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Wilhelm Reich is the focus of this second in a series of papers on a group of independent figures from the 1930s into the 1950s—also including Jung, the later Heidegger, Toynbee, Bergson, Teilhard de Chardin, and Simone Weil—who in the context of those years of crisis articulated overlapping visions of a future “New Age” spirituality that might in some more distant future serve to balance and even transform a globalizing materialism and disenchantment with traditional religion. The later Reich developed a highly original version of a “vitalistic” transpersonal psychology, as his “religion for the children of the future ...


The Singular Voice Of Being [Table Of Contents], Andrew Lazella May 2019

The Singular Voice Of Being [Table Of Contents], Andrew Lazella

Philosophy

The Singular Voice of Being reconsiders John Duns Scotus’s well-covered theory of the univocity of being in light of his less explored discussions of ultimate difference. Ultimate difference is a notion introduced by Aristotle and known by the Aristotelian tradition, but one that, the book argues, Scotus radically retrofits to buttress his doctrine of univocity. Ultimate difference for Aristotle meant the last difference in a line of specific differences whereby all the preceding differences would be united into a single substance rather than remain a heapish multiplicity. LaZella argues that Scotus both broadens and deepens the term such that ...


The Japanese Way In America: A Comparison Of The Spiritual Beliefs, Habits, And Ideas Of The American Religious ‘Nones’ And Contemporary Japanese Nationals, Jarrett Stalinger May 2019

The Japanese Way In America: A Comparison Of The Spiritual Beliefs, Habits, And Ideas Of The American Religious ‘Nones’ And Contemporary Japanese Nationals, Jarrett Stalinger

Honors Program Projects

There has been growing interest in the religiously unaffiliated within America. This growing interest has caused a new name to come about, the Nones. The present discussion attempts to give context to the rise of the Nones and to compare the religious beliefs and habits of these American Nones with the Japanese Nationals who inhabit Japan. There are many similarities between these two groups relating to ethics, interactions with people, and connection with nature. These comparisons show that there is a possible connection between people which explains spiritual experience, even outside that of normalized, institutional religions. This “intuition of the ...


A Theology Of Failure [Table Of Contents], Marika Rose May 2019

A Theology Of Failure [Table Of Contents], Marika Rose

Religion

“This is the best work I have ever read on Žižek in relation to theology, maybe the best such work possible. Rose’s prose style is clear and engaging, and her project significantly advances our understanding of Christian apophaticism, of Žižek’s project, and of the potential future stakes of theology for a secular world.”— Adam Kotsko, author of Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital

Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to respond to this failure is contested. Against both radical orthodoxy and deconstructive theology, Rose proposes that Christian identity is ...


The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith Apr 2019

The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith

Senior Honors Theses

Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential ...


Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten Apr 2019

Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis examines two divergent streams of thought in Christian philosophy of life represented by the works of Francis Schaeffer and James K. A. Smith in an effort to help Christians live in a postmodern culture. Schaeffer and Smith ultimately address differing, but complementary, realms of anthropology and the human experience. To see how these two authors might complement each other effectively, this thesis will analyze each author’s work and then explore whether or not the application of Smith's liturgical anthropology and utilization of phenomenology can improve Schaeffer’s system of thought and the worldview concept.


Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth Apr 2019

Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth

Senior Honors Theses

Despite the highly developed nature of his fictional world, Middle-earth, Tolkien never formally laid out a tabulated magic system for his fantasy creation. Nevertheless, unlike many stories by others in the fantasy genre, the magic he does include is far from just a shallow, world-building mechanism. Instead, it encapsulates the core theme of his fiction and the purposes which Ilúvatar (the God of Middle-earth) has given to the story’s many characters.

This paper will examine the nature and function of this magic from many angles: the identification of good magic with art and evil magic with domination; the delineation ...


In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker Mar 2019

In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

As an ethicist, and especially a theological ethicist, and more especially as a liberation theologian, what I most appreciate about Schubert M. Ogden’s “revisionary theology”* is his appreciation of Charles Hartshorne’s neoclassical theology, including especially panentheism (all-in-theos-ism), and his insistence that such appreciation is essential to adequately formulated theology and ethics, including liberation theology. And insofar as Ogden is contributing something essential to liberation theology, he might be called a neoclassical liberation theologian, or at least a wanna-be-helpful neoclassical theologian.


Mythology, Morality, And The Messiah: How Natural Moral Law And Hero Myth Entail That Jesus Christ Is The Best Possible Hero, Matthew J. Coombe Feb 2019

Mythology, Morality, And The Messiah: How Natural Moral Law And Hero Myth Entail That Jesus Christ Is The Best Possible Hero, Matthew J. Coombe

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

Essentially this dissertation is an abductive argument for Jesus Christ being the best possible hero. The abductive argument is concerned with the synthesis of several different disciplines: natural theology, general revelation, ethics, natural law (meta-ethics), literary criticism, Biblical criticism, and mythology. When synthesized the most reasonable conclusion for the data is that Jesus Christ is the best possible hero. All of the disciplines work together: Natural theology establishes the axiological basis for moral realism and moral knowledge. General revelation acts as a universal imprinter, which not only imbeds man with moral knowledge, but also with inherent notions of heroism—heroism ...


Three Reasons Martin Luther King Jr. Disliked Being Labeled "Civil Rights Leader", Theodore Walker Jan 2019

Three Reasons Martin Luther King Jr. Disliked Being Labeled "Civil Rights Leader", Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

Three reasons King disliked being labeled "civil rights leader:"

(1) He was a religious leader, a preacher (not a secular politician).

(2) He advanced "economic rights" ("civil rights" do not include "economic rights").

(3) He opposed war in Vietnam (not a civil rights issue).


The Legacy Of A 'Living Library': The Transatlantic Reception Of John Smith, Derek A. Michaud Jan 2019

The Legacy Of A 'Living Library': The Transatlantic Reception Of John Smith, Derek A. Michaud

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Sexual Consent As Transcendence: A Phenomenological Understanding, Mark A. Levand, Nicolle Zapien Jan 2019

Sexual Consent As Transcendence: A Phenomenological Understanding, Mark A. Levand, Nicolle Zapien

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Consent to sex is a topic of much research, particularly with the goal of optimizing sex education for youth, college students, and military service personnel. Sex educators have tended to err on the side of clear and concise definitions of consent for ease of instruction. However, the sexual science literature has steadily shown that the navigation of consent to sexuality activity is much more nuanced, situated and contextual. When consent is conceptualized as a yes or no answer to particular sexual acts or sexual activity altogether, it overlooks the dynamic nature of how people experience consenting. This article examines consent ...


A Philosopher Looks At The Bible, Donald Wayne Viney Jan 2019

A Philosopher Looks At The Bible, Donald Wayne Viney

Faculty Submissions

If there is a single argument of my booklet that is original it is the refutation of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, which is stated on page 12 and formalized in footnote 3, page 41. This is not the typical argument against inerrancy, for my claim is that the doctrine of inerrancy itself, in conjunction with a well-known fact about the Bible, commits the inerrantist to an inconsistent triad of positions. Instead of insisting that the Bible itself is inconsistent, this argument establishes that the doctrine of inerrancy is complicit in establishing its own falsity. The most reasonable way I ...


Divine Kink: A Consideration Of The Evidence For Bdsm As Spiritual Ritual, Sam E. Greenberg Jan 2019

Divine Kink: A Consideration Of The Evidence For Bdsm As Spiritual Ritual, Sam E. Greenberg

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This paper reviews the limited empirical research supporting BDSM as a spiritual ritual that enables distinct altered states of consciousness. It expands upon Sagarin, Lee, and Klement’s (2015) preliminary comparison of BDSM to extreme ritual by suggesting that BDSM bears in common with spiritual ritual elements of pain or ordeal, spiritual meaning, and transformative potential. An increasing interest in BDSM in the West is considered in light of the spiritual and ritual roles BDSM fulfills for many practitioners. The relevance of BDSM to transpersonal psychology is discussed and BDSM is considered as an area for further research in transpersonal ...


The Life Of The Other: An Analysis Of Puerto Rico Within The United Nations, Angelica Roman Jan 2019

The Life Of The Other: An Analysis Of Puerto Rico Within The United Nations, Angelica Roman

Honors College Theses

No abstract provided.


Toward A New Theory Of Gender Transcendence: Insights From A Qualitative Study Of Gendered Self-Concept And Self-Expression In A Sample Of Individuals Assigned Female At Birth, Seth T. Pardo Jan 2019

Toward A New Theory Of Gender Transcendence: Insights From A Qualitative Study Of Gendered Self-Concept And Self-Expression In A Sample Of Individuals Assigned Female At Birth, Seth T. Pardo

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Sex and gender are two concepts that are often conflated in popular culture. However, those who experience dissonance between their assigned sex and gender identity intimately understand the difference between sex, a biologicallybased distinction, and gender, a confluence of social and behavioral factors that contribute to understanding who one is as well as how one is seen by others. The gendered self-understanding and self-expression of 170 North Americans who selfidentified as gender nonconforming and who were assigned female at birth were explored using a transpersonal lens and thematic analysis. Data suggested a range and variety of gendered self-concepts that aligned ...


Sexual Ecstasy Scale: Conceptualizations And Measurement, John Elfers, Reid Offringa Jan 2019

Sexual Ecstasy Scale: Conceptualizations And Measurement, John Elfers, Reid Offringa

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This article describes the development of the Sexual Ecstasy Scale, an instrument designed to measure the specific features that emerge when sexual arousal is the trigger for an ecstatic experience. Drawing from descriptions of features of sexual ecstasy in the phenomenological literature, the authors generated an initial survey of 31 items. In Study 1, the survey was completed by a wide demographic sample (N = 331). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 4-factor solution that was replicated in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis with an independent sample (N = 331) that showed strong fit indices. Internal consistency for the overall scale and ...


Meaning-Making Among Intentionally Childless Women, Christine Brooks Jan 2019

Meaning-Making Among Intentionally Childless Women, Christine Brooks

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This paper is a summary of a qualitative research project that focused upon meaningmaking processes as described by intentionally childless women. A grounded theory exploration, it involved semi-structured interviews with 30 cisgendered women aged 27–61 who chose childlessness early in life. Based on principles inherent to social constructivism and feminist theories, the subjective voices of the participants were analyzed as normative expressions of female identity. The main category that accompanied intentional childlessness was a sense of freedom. In addition, two additional thematic categories focused on ways the women view their contributions to their communities and experience belonging and a ...


The Castrated Gods And Their Castration Cults: Revenge, Punishment, And Spiritual Supremacy, Jenny Wade Jan 2019

The Castrated Gods And Their Castration Cults: Revenge, Punishment, And Spiritual Supremacy, Jenny Wade

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Voluntary castration has existed as a religious practice up to the present day, openly in India and secretively in other parts of the world. Gods in a number of different cultures were castrated, a mutilation that paradoxically tended to increase rather than diminish their powers. This cross-cultural examination of the eunuch gods examines the meaning associated with divine emasculation in Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, the Roman Empire, India, and northern Europe to the degree that these meanings can be read from the wording of myths, early accounts, and the castration cults for some of these gods. Three distinct patterns of ...


From Romantic Jealousy To Sympathetic Joy: Monogamy, Polyamory, And Beyond, Jorge N. Ferrer Jan 2019

From Romantic Jealousy To Sympathetic Joy: Monogamy, Polyamory, And Beyond, Jorge N. Ferrer

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This paper explores how the extension of contemplative qualities to intimate relationships can transform human sexual/emotional responses and relationship choices. The paper reviews contemporary findings from the field of evolutionary psychology on the twin origins of jealousy and monogamy, argues for the possibility to transform jealousy into sympathetic joy (or compersion), addresses the common objections against polyamory (or nonmonogamy), and challenges the culturally prevalent belief that the only spiritually correct sexual options are either celibacy or (lifelong or serial) monogamy. To conclude, it is suggested that the cultivation of sympathetic joy in intimate bonds can pave the way to ...


The Path To Enlightenment Of Sacred Married Home Life: Grihasthya Dharma As A Guiding Ideal For The Transpersonal Marriage Therapist, Stuart Sovatsky Jan 2019

The Path To Enlightenment Of Sacred Married Home Life: Grihasthya Dharma As A Guiding Ideal For The Transpersonal Marriage Therapist, Stuart Sovatsky

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

This paper attempts to correct the unwitting reliance of much transpersonal psychology upon Indian texts that were indigenously specific to sannyasins (nonhouseholder, monastics). This includes teachings from advaita vedanta, yoga, and many Buddhist schools on releasement from desire, the diminishing role of the ego, guardedness toward “the mellow-drama” of “worldly” life (as Ram Dass famously cast relational involvements). Some forty years of the unwitting over-application of such teachings to modern non-monastic lives has helped create an artificial split in transpersonal and East-West spirituality teachings involving “engaged/ embodied” and implied “un-engaged/un-embodied” spiritual paths. This article describes the value system and ...


Review Of Hud Hudson, A Grotesque In The Garden, Matthew A. Benton Jan 2019

Review Of Hud Hudson, A Grotesque In The Garden, Matthew A. Benton

SPU Works

No abstract provided.


The Religious And Philosophical Characteristics In A Consensually Nonmonogamous Sample, Akhila E. A. Kolesar, Seth T. Pardo Jan 2019

The Religious And Philosophical Characteristics In A Consensually Nonmonogamous Sample, Akhila E. A. Kolesar, Seth T. Pardo

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive

Consensual nonmonogamy refers to the variety of ways people partner romantically and/or sexually with multiple others. This study examined the spiritual identities of people who self-identify as consensually and openly partnered with more than one person, as well as if and how these identities changed since childhood. Moreover, to deepen previous transpersonal research that investigated how nonmonogamous paradigms of loving contribute to spiritual development, the study also examined between group differences of whether nonmonogamous sexual behavior and spirituality are emotionally linked. Data were gathered from 484 participants; they were mostly college-educated, Caucasian, bisexual women in their 30s, who were ...