Title

A Study of Peak Spiritual Experiences and their Effect on Religious Fervor and Altruism

Publication Year

2006

Keywords

Spiritual experience, altruism, religious fervor, conversion, religion and psychology

Disciplines

Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Multicultural Psychology | Religion

Abstract

This paper examines the theological and psychological aspects of peak spiritual experiences and to what extent a peak spiritual experience impacts an individual's religious fervor and altruism. The theories of conversion, mystical experience, archetypal understandings of the immortal soul, religious schemas, and exemplary peak spiritual experiences are examined. An explorative study examined the effects of peak spiritual experiences in a group of 20 adults, ranging in age from 30 to 87. The subjects responded to questions regarding their church participation, prayer life, and their own peak spiritual experiences. The findings conclude that after a peak spiritual experience, the participants are more satisfied with their life, they attend church more, they pray and study more and with higher intensity, and they engage in volunteer work more and with a higher level of dedication. The correlation between these theories and the findings of this study are discussed.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Religious Studies

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