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Synopsis

While many readers of Paulís letters recognize how important his experience was to his life and thought, Biblical scholars have not generally addressed this topic head-on. Colleen Shantz argues that they have been held back both by a bias against religious ecstasy and by the limits of the Biblical texts: How do you responsibly access someone elseís experience, particularly experience as unusual and debated as religious ecstasy? And how do you account responsibly for the role of experience in that personís thought? Paul in Ecstasy pursues these questions through a variety of disciplines ñ most notably neuroscience. This study provides cogent explanations for bewildering passages in Paulís letters, outlines a much greater influence of such experience in Paulís life and letters, and points to its importance in Christian origins.

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