Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God

Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God

by John J. Pilch

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Overview

Trances, visions, healing miracles: permeating the biblical records are these altered states of consciousness, through which some early Christians experienced God. Today's rituals and liturgies are related to those experiences, which have become significant elements in the Christian tradition and mysticism. Pilch uses cultural anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and medical anthropology to interpret these past events, and to explore the contemporary liturgical potential of this new understanding. Backed with solid, scientific insights, this interdisciplinary book will help the reader gain appreciation of our ancestors' faith and the power of Scripture and liturgy.

Chapters are: Introduction, Chapter One: "Acts 1-2: The Journey Begins: Communal Religious Trance Experiences (ASCs)," Chapter Two: “Acts 3-5: Temple Tours: God Acts in the Temple and a Private Home,” Chapter Three: “Acts 6-12: Excursions Outside Jerusalem: Encountering God Away From the Temple,” Chapter Four: “Acts 13:1-21:36: Journeys into Non-Israelite Territory Inspired By Altered States of Consciousness Experiences,” Chapter Five: “Acts 21:37-28:15: Paul the Prisoner's Progress Illuminated and Aided By Altered States of Consciousness Experiences,” and “Acts 28:16-31 Re-orientation—The Journey Concludes.” Also includes Introduction, Conclusion, Resource Bibliography, Appendix One: “Outline of Acts,” Appendix Two: “Rite and Trance,” and Appendix Three: “A Ceremonial Rite for Experiencing the Realm of God in Altered States of Consciousness.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814627976
Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
Publication date: 08/28/2004
Series: Preaching Resources Ser.
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author


John J. Pilch, a highly-regarded biblical scholar and author, taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and passed away in 2016. Among his numerous publications are The Cultural World of Jesus, The Cultural World of the Apostles, and The Cultural World of the Prophets series published by Liturgical Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction1
Chapter 1Acts 1-2 The Journey Begins: Communal Religious Trance Experiences (ASCs)13
Acts 1:1-26 Ascension13
Acts 2:1-47 Pentecost25
Chapter 2Acts 3-5 Temple Tours: God Acts in the Temple and a Private Home38
Acts 3:1-4:22 Public Temple tour: God acts in the Temple39
Acts 4:23-5:11 Away from the Temple: private house interlude46
Acts 5:12-42 Public Temple tour: God continues to act in the Temple49
Chapter 3Acts 6-12 The Journey beyond Jerusalem: Individuals and Communal ASCs55
Acts 6:1-8:3 Stephen the Martyr in Jerusalem55
Acts 8:4-40 Philip the Evangelist in Samaria/Judea62
Acts 9:1-31 Saul--Persecution in Damascus and Jerusalem68
Acts 9:32-11:18 Peter in Sharon and Caesarea82
Acts 11:19-30 Barnabas in Antioch and Jerusalem95
Acts 12:1-25 Peter, Prisoner in Jerusalem97
Chapter 4Acts 13:1-21:36 Journeys into Non-Israelite Territory103
Acts 13:1-16:5 The Mediterranean expedition103
Acts 16:6-21:36 The Aegean expedition115
Chapter 5Acts 21:37-28:15 Prisoner's Progress139
Acts 21:37-23:10 Trials in Jerusalem139
Acts 23:11-35 Perilous journey from Jerusalem to Caesarea144
Acts 24:1-26:32 Trials in Caesarea145
Acts 27:1-28:15 Perilous journey from Caesarea to Rome151
Acts 28:16-31 The Journey Concludes154
Conclusion158
Resource Bibliography160
Appendix 1Outline of Acts166
Appendix 2Rite and Trance170
Appendix 3A Ceremonial Rite for Experiencing the Realm of God in Altered States of Consciousness181
Index of Authors188
Index of Scripture190
Index of Subjects192

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