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The Night is the Mother of Day: Methodological Comments on Three Cases of Religious Visions as Suicide Prevention

Geels, Antoon LU (2008) In Autobiography and the Psychological Study of Religious Lives 15. p.95-114
Abstract
During my thirty years in the academic field I have always been interested in biographical studies. The focus has been on significant experiences in the individual’s life, so-called turning points, peak experiences or other decisive and unforgettable moments. Was there a crisis of some kind? And, if this is the case,how did the person in question cope with this low point in his or her life? I learned that there appears to be a relation between life crisis and intensive religious experience, especially visionary and/or auditive impressions. In this paper I will present three short case studies of persons coming from different cultures and living in different times. The common denominator is that they all were on the verge of committing... (More)
During my thirty years in the academic field I have always been interested in biographical studies. The focus has been on significant experiences in the individual’s life, so-called turning points, peak experiences or other decisive and unforgettable moments. Was there a crisis of some kind? And, if this is the case,how did the person in question cope with this low point in his or her life? I learned that there appears to be a relation between life crisis and intensive religious experience, especially visionary and/or auditive impressions. In this paper I will present three short case studies of persons coming from different cultures and living in different times. The common denominator is that they all were on the verge of committing suicide. Only seconds prior to the selfdestructive act they were all saved by an all-absorbing vision, when time seemed to stand still. The main question I wish to answer is whether these visions can be regarded as similar at a process level, psychologically speaking. Persons and products usually do differ, while processes might be similar. Before presenting the three case studies I would like to give you some background to my earlier studies of religious lives. The chapter will be finished with a comment on some simple methodological principles I have learnt from them. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
religious visions, mystical experience, Autobiography, biography, methodology
in
Autobiography and the Psychological Study of Religious Lives
editor
Geels, Antoon and Belzen, Jacob A.
volume
15
pages
95 - 114
publisher
Rodopi
ISBN
978-90-420-2568-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
07f61089-76ed-4c3a-a803-938dc69f2c4c (old id 1458805)
date added to LUP
2009-09-23 16:04:09
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:49:08
@misc{07f61089-76ed-4c3a-a803-938dc69f2c4c,
  abstract     = {During my thirty years in the academic field I have always been interested in biographical studies. The focus has been on significant experiences in the individual’s life, so-called turning points, peak experiences or other decisive and unforgettable moments. Was there a crisis of some kind? And, if this is the case,how did the person in question cope with this low point in his or her life? I learned that there appears to be a relation between life crisis and intensive religious experience, especially visionary and/or auditive impressions. In this paper I will present three short case studies of persons coming from different cultures and living in different times. The common denominator is that they all were on the verge of committing suicide. Only seconds prior to the selfdestructive act they were all saved by an all-absorbing vision, when time seemed to stand still. The main question I wish to answer is whether these visions can be regarded as similar at a process level, psychologically speaking. Persons and products usually do differ, while processes might be similar. Before presenting the three case studies I would like to give you some background to my earlier studies of religious lives. The chapter will be finished with a comment on some simple methodological principles I have learnt from them.},
  author       = {Geels, Antoon},
  editor       = {Geels, Antoon and Belzen, Jacob A.},
  isbn         = {978-90-420-2568-4},
  keyword      = {religious visions,mystical experience,Autobiography,biography,methodology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {95--114},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xae5f000)},
  series       = {Autobiography and the Psychological Study of Religious Lives},
  title        = {The Night is the Mother of Day: Methodological Comments on Three Cases of Religious Visions as Suicide Prevention},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2008},
}