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The main product of the seminar will be a creative piece of research, presented in the form of a paper of about 4,000 words. Students are incouraged to target this paper, in respect of both content and formatting, for a journal close to their home field. This may or may not entail actual submission of the paper for publication, depending on the quality and originality of the work. If a student is willing, the paper not otherwise submitted for publication, can be posted in the “Interpretative Research Essays” section of the Religious Experiences Resources website. The paper is due by email to the instructor prior to the beginning of the last class meeting on 12/10.

Students will produce four short reviews of books or articles for the Religious Experiences Resources website, one pertinent to each of the four sections of the course. Each review will be at least 500 words in length and formatted according to the site’s style. The length of the items reviewed should be roughly balanced among seminar participants; we will discuss what this means in detail in seminar meetings. The four reviews are due by email to the instructor, and in paper format to the class, at the beginning of the assigned class meetings, and in any case no later than the class meetings on 9/17, 10/15, 11/5, and 12/10. Students will also read all existing reviews on the site prior to the class meeting on 9/17.

Students will visit all existing links on the Religious Experiences Resources website and then generate five new links, annotated and rated according to the site’s style. The link visits, and the generation of five new links, are to be completed prior to the second class meeting on 9/10. The new links are to be submitted by email to the instructor. The seminar’s CourseInfo website will be used to avoid duplication of links.

Acquaint yourself with rules about plagiarism and follow them scrupulously. Incompletes are not given except in extraordinary circumstances; paperwork is required.

The seminar grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Research paper: 35%
  • Four resources reviews: 8% each, for a total of 32%
  • Five annotated and rated web links: 8%
  • Quality of seminar participation and presentations, including attendance and timeliness: 25%


There is a CourseInfo site in support of this seminar. The site is located at

Course Texts

The seminar adopts a multidisciplinary approach to religious experience, which involves learning about rich literatures in several disciplines. This poses a significant problem for teaching and learning, which we will address in the following ways.

  • The instructor will furnish participants with a large and indefinitely expandable bibliography (see below). Students are expected to become acquainted with the breadth of literature it contains, using as a guide the seminar outline, which lists all of the books and articles in the bibliography.
  • Reading and contributing to the Religious Experience Resources website will help students penetrate the diversity of relevant literature.
  • Participants are expected to develop a specialized knowledge of the aspects of the literature germane to their research papers.
  • Certain readings will be read in common by the entire seminar each week.
  • The requirement of four resource reviews will bring into the seminar distributed knowledge of supplementary readings for each class session. These reviews will be due on specific seminar meeting dates and presented in hard copy to the class. Each reviewer is expected to introduce their knowledge about the books they review into the seminar conversation as appropriate.

In order to constrain the seminar’s work to manageable propotions, readings in the vast literature concerning the physical and mental health effects of religious experience will not be dealt with here.

Office Hours

Prof. Wildman's office hours are in STH 335 on Wednesday mornings after the seminar meeting at 11am, or by appointment.

The information on this page is copyright 1994-2010, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you want to use text or stories from these pages, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.