Religious Experience Resources - Web Links

Rating System | Links | Key to Abbreviations of Contributors


The web is a helpful resource but quite confusing at first so a bit of guidance never goes astray. That's what a links page does. Below I first explain the rating system used to describe the overall quality of a website. Then come the links themselves. There is no topical organization but the higher ranked sites are listed at the top. Sites as yet unranked might be quite good but they are listed at the bottom anyway. Finally, I explain the cryptic abbreviations following annotations, which refer to the fine people who have contributed web links, annotations, and ratings for sites related to religious experience.

Rating System

The four-halo rating system is utterly objective, of course, but may need to be explained so that all of the universally applicable judgments expressed by its use are not merely announced (the cosmically important outcome) but also understood (we, too, are slaves to our pedagogically driven, bodhisattva-like compassion). The explanation may be somewhat technical but we ask you to bear with our attempts to break open web-centric phenomenological categories for the wider public.

Rating Meaning Deeper Meaning
! Inexpressible; transcending all categories of
moral and aesthetic judgment; a genuinely
irrational achievement; apophasis inducing
Wow! Sartori is at hand, so close you can almost taste
it; the dew drop is about to slip into the shining
sea to become one with all other water droplets
Bad! Ananda down under—which is the highest web-
based quality permitted in Australia for public
safety and medical reasons
Not bad! Joy of the regular sort; no bright lights or angelic
visitations but a warm and happy feeling, at
least for the most part; could be happier
Mmmm... Quotidian neutrality; the quintessential opposite
of bipolar dynamism; the ordinary, easy-paced
day off work with nothing much to do except nap
Well... There is no there there; there is no soul there
either; in fact, there is not even any no-soul there;
more meditation is vital, and urgently!
! Inexpressible; transcending all categories of
moral and aesthetic judgment; a genuinely
irrational achievement; apophasis inducing


Halo Rank: 4 | 3.5 | 3 | 2.5 | 2 | 1.5 | 1

4 Halo Sites


Art by Unknown; from here.

Virtual Beit Midrash (Study Hall). It is impossible to understand the Jewish religious experience without appreciating the central role that sacred text study plays in the devotional life of the religious Jew. Before one ascends the mystical ladder to commune with the Divine or sinks into the depths to call out in fervent prayer to the Lord, the Jewish religious experience begins with Torah study, most often in the context of study partners and a learning community. This virtual study hall website will provide a sense of the depth and breadth of Jewish religious educational interests and provide a glimpse of the literary learning modality of Jewish spirituality. [BJS]

Why Study Religion is sponsored and developed by the American Academy of Religion, and was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Founded in 1909, the Academy is the world's largest association of academics who research or teach topics related to religion. The web site is easy to navigate, contains references to dozens of basic texts and foundational documents. It contains links to several websites that deal with the study of religion and religious experience. [JC]

Rumi Universe is a clean, unadulterated site featuring excellent translations of the works of Mualana Jalalu-‘d-dín Muhammad Rumi, which are excellent primary resources for a particular kind of mystical religious experience. This is an extremely comprehensive site including vast content of Rumi as translated by the likes of E.H. Whinfield and Coleman Barks. This is Rumi plain, without embellishment, allowing the reader to hear the authentic voice with little editorial content. [JC]

Gender in Medieval Christian Mysticism is a class taught by Prof. Deeana Klepper at Boston University’s Religion Department. The beautifully illustrated site provides web resources for the study of medieval European religion and history, e-texts for selected medieval mystics, and a valuable bibliography. The course content includes both genders. [GGL]

Famous Swedenborgians—William Blake and Henry James Sr. are two of the famous Swedenborgians listed on this web site. Bill Wilson, the founder of the Alcoholics Anonymous, is also a famous Swedenborgian, and no Religious Experience Resources could be complete without a link to his site. The site provides links to local AA meetings, and the meetings of offshoot groups of AA, such as “Overeaters” and “Debtors Anonymous.” Alcoholics Anonymous (aka “The Big Blue Book”) can be ordered from the site. [GGL]

Is Runner’s High a Religious Experience? The author of the site’s article describes a “runner’s high,” while he ran in his first marathon. A runner’s high is reminiscent of Maslow’s “peak experiences.” This is an inspiring site. By clicking on “what the brain looks like during religious experience,” you are led to the Pew Forum’s bi-annual “Faith Angle Conference” of May 2008. There you can listen to an audio recording, read articles or navigate transcripts. There are some interesting theories, and pictures of the brain, presented here. [GGL]

The Pluralism Project was started at Harvard University in 1991. Its “mission is to help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources.” Pluralism is defined at length and most world religions are listed and described. The Project’s research articles are posted and selected links for Research Organizations, such as the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism, are provided. [GGL]

The Emory University William James site is an extensive compilation of resources related to the works of William James. The site includes full original texts, essays, reviews, commentaries, bibliographies, and various links to other web resources. It is helpful for students of religious experience as James is foundational to the field. [TW]

Psychedelics and Religious Experience. Alan Watts was a student of comparative religion, religious psychology and a popularizer of Eastern religious philosophy. In this intriguing web article, Watts explores the so called higher states of consciousness so often associated with religious experience brought on by the use of illegal psychedelics. The article also holds historical interest in that it provides a window into the mindset of the counterculture of the ‘60s. [BJS] is a website dedicated to the contemporary practice of Chasidic religious spirituality outside of a normative Orthodox Jewish framework. It highlights the use of song and melody, story and liturgy, and Jewish mysticism to create religious experience and divine communion. It raises the interesting question of whether religious experience requires connection to community and a structured cultural setting, or can be accessed through an internet tutorial. [BJS] is an entry level website with credentialed authors that provides an expansive introduction to Jewish religious beliefs and practices. For those interested in the Jewish religious experience, this accessible, encyclopedic website is a great place to begin one’s research. It has expansive sections on Jewish mysticism, hassidism and prayer. [BJS]

Sefer Devekut: The Book of Attachment (To G-d) The Prophetic/Meditative Traditions (Kabbalah) of Bonding With G-d. This website presents a digitized version of a contemporary work guiding the seeker of Jewish religious experience toward communion with the divine presence. It is representative of a traditional genre of Jewish devotional literature that began in the medieval period and has persisted through the present. [BJS]

Spirituality and Practice: Resources for Spiritual Journeys seeks to cover the spiritual renaissance scene, highlighting events, new books, reviews, articles and resources, as well as providing "how to" information. [BJS]

The American Society for Psychical Research is the oldest psychical research organization in the United States. For more than a century, the ASPR has supported the scientific investigation of extraordinary or as yet unexplained phenomena that have been called psychic or paranormal. The ASPR was founded in 1885 by a distinguished group of scholars who shared the courage and vision to explore the uncharted realms of human consciousness, among them renowned Harvard psychologist and Professor of Philosophy, William James. [MS]

Boundary Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to the advancement of 21st-Century science, and currently pursuing two major research themes, one concerning the foundations of physics, the other the foundations of mathematics and computer science. Many people have had precognitive dreams and successful intuitive hunches and would like to know if they have psychic abilities. The institution created some informal tests for "Psi" functioning based on the same techniques used in more formal laboratory experiments. Click here to join the tests. [MS]

Quantum Consciousness is the personal website of Dr. Stuart Hameroff, a physician and researcher at the University of Arizona Medical Center. What's Really on (or in) Our Minds? For nearly a century, science has avoided the study of human consciousness. Now, the UA philosopher is helping to reinvigorate this most difficult and profound avenue of inquiry. [MS]

Spirituality and the Brain is a personal website of Dr. Todd Murphy, a Behavioral Neuroscientist associated with Dr. Michael Persinger. His main interest is in understanding how the brain contributes to mystic, religious, and spiritual experiences. He writes, “I want to use this understanding to find ways to induce them for those who need them. And to understand the transformations that follow when people have them unexpectedly. Unlike many of my colleagues, I am not closed to psychic phenomena, tales of miracles, visitations by angels, and other experiences. I accept that these are real experiences, even though I may not be able to accept many of the traditional explanations for them. I hope the articles and technology on this page are able to contribute to your spiritual process.” [MS]

History of American Religion is a discussion-based site with articles and reviews for and of religions. The site has five editors and seventeen editorial board members who are professionals in religion. This site is beneficial for study and research regarding religion, including religious experience. [HJW]

BBC's Religion & Ethics broadcasts are an online radio resource. They are available for convenient downloading as well as streaming live.  Weekly programs and special features offer an array of religious material eclectic enough for those merely curious, critical enough for every brand of scholar, and devout enough for all varieties of devotees.  The site includes a multi-faith calendar, daily worship services, discussion boards, information on world religions, historical reflections, a broadcast of one man's unfulfilled desire to believe in God, and much much more! [SLP]

Paths of Dao has beautiful page layouts, and focuses on eastern religion: Daoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Excellent links are offered, comments can be posted, daily devotionals (“Daily Zen”) can be read, and one can discover a network of people to interact with. [RLS]

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Inter-Religious Dialogue: Forty Years Later. This website, sponsored by Boston College's Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, presents the proceedings and ongoing online discussion of a 2003 conference on the 40th anniversary of Rabbi Jospeh B. Soloveithcik's theological essay, "Confrontation." In the essay, Soloveitchik rejects interfaith theological dialogue based on the fundamental inability of individuals to converse across faiths. Soloveitchik's analysis of interreligious incommensurability raises important issues about the difficulties of articulating religious and spiritual experience, and it adopts a provocatively strong contextualist position against perennialism. Soloveitchik's essay was written in part as a response to Vatican II, which was a bold reformulation of the Catholic Church's position on Judaism, and as part of that reorientation also called for greater theological dialogue and joint study.  In an atmosphere of cautious distrust, a call for dialogue was taken by some Jews as a call for prostelyzation of a different form.  At the same time, Soloveitchik's essay is a continuation of other themes he had previously developed in his celebrated "Lonely Man of Faith" in which he posits the existential loneliness of faith. [BJS]

3.5 Halo Sites


"Aboriginal Love Magic"
by Betty LaDuke; from here.

The Rhine Research Center & Institute for Parapsychology is a group that "aims to improve the human condition by creating a scientific understanding of those abilities and sensitivities that appear to transcend the ordinary limits of space and time and by communicating that understanding in cogent and responsible ways."  The Rhine Research Center is the successor to the (famed?) Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory. Its appears that this site could be a goldmine for anyone whose interest is in PSI-EXPERIENCES. Unfortunately, however, I have not been able to get very far into it without my browser crashing. Perhaps someone else will have better luck! [TK]

The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) is a group that "encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public." Although CSICOP is about the debunking of paranormal claims, its site includes a lengthy annotated bibliography of literature pertaining to the paranormal that may be of some use. (Of course, it is also of use for those of you who, like me, are skeptically minded, unregenerate neo-Kantians.) [TK]

Labyrinths, Selected Stories & Other Writings of Julius Luis Borges. Julius Luis Borges was born in Argentina in August 1899. A prolific and thoughtful writer, Borges struggled with the meaning of religion and existence through poetry, prose, metaphysics, religion, and philosophy. “Perhaps the most striking characteristic of his writings is their extreme intellectual reaction against all the disorder and contingency of immediate reality, their radical insistence of breaking with the given world and postulating another.” James E. Irby (translator). This site provides unedited access to magnificent text by Julius Borges, many of which testify to the vitality of spiritual experience. [JC]

The Council on Spiritual Practices “is a collaboration among spiritual guides, experts in the behavioral and biomedical sciences, and scholars of religion, dedicated to making direct experience of the sacred more available to more people.” This is a well-organized, easily navigable site. It makes somewhat inflated claims about its own importance and contributions to understanding religious experience. But it substantially delivers the goods. Nothing is lost, and much gained by considering the traditional and more cutting-edge issues concerning religious experience presented at this site. [JC]

The Religious Experience of Indigenous People. Professor Kevin Ward provides the course description and syllabus for his course covering the topic of religious experience among indigenous populations and the role of these experiences in shaping their societies. [LAW]

The website is dedicated to promoting a naturalistic worldview. The religious experience section provides a number of critical essays that demonstrate a good understanding of a wide variety of philosophical positions regarding religious experience. [LAW]

Sound and Spirit—the award-winning National Public Radio Show hosted by Ellen Kushner, produced by WGBH Radio Boston, and distributed by Public Radio International—is “a weekly series of hour-long radio programs exploring the human spirit through music and ideas. Sound & Spirit weaves history, myth, and spiritual traditions together with music to take listeners on a journey around the world and through the ages.” Various experts both in practice and in academia on topics ranging from holidays to ritual practices to recipes to ethics share with Kushner in thought-provoking, respectful, and often humorous dialogue to present a wide range of religious and spiritual experience from an increasing number of faith traditions/no specific tradition. The website contains the broadcast of the current show, the upcoming shows schedule, archives, playlists (the music alone is a religious experience), feedback (including testimonies of spiritual experiences while listening), a way to obtain written transcripts, recipes, schedules, and how to listen both in the United States and abroad. The show and the website are ongoing delights for both specialists and generalists. [VG]

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is the original website of an international phenomenon, now ten years old: the planning, creation, blessing, and gifting of prayer shawls that become ritual objects and opportunities for religious experience for both creator and recipient. Founded in 1998 by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo as a result of their work in a program of Applied Feminist Spirituality with Miriam Therese Winter, the ministry combines knitting/crocheting/quilting/weaving, caritas, and intentional blessing/prayer into spiritual practice, that in turn also provides comfort, joy, solace, and/or celebration for those who receive the results. The website provides instruction suggestions for making the shawls and for starting a local ministry, ideas for planning and creating (symbolism, color, pattern, prayers), links to organizations requesting or offering shawls, and stories/inspirations (often accounts of spiritual experiences involving either the creation or reception of a shawl). Honoring of female experience and tradition, and of world religions, this website reflects the progress of a remarkable grassroots spiritual culture. For those interested in applied spirituality, fiber arts, and personal religious practice and experience. [VG]

Concord Pastor Blog. A pastor in Concord, Massachusetts communicates with his parishioners and the world through his blog. He posts his homilies weekly and welcomes comments. People in need contact him for prayers. He provides links to the Jesuit magazine, the New American Bible, the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University, The Vatican, a prayer for when your child leaves home, and many other resources of a religious, political, and humorous nature. You can also listen to a Benedictine chant and reflect as nature slides sail by on your screen. [GGL]

Nielson’s Psychology of Religion Site. A website compiled by Michael Nielson, Ph. D. with brief essays, mostly written by Nielson, on a range of topics related to the psychology of religion. The site also includes an extensive list of resources for further study, information on new religious movements, and news updates related to the intersection of science and religion. [TW]

The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics is a “network of scholars elaborating the law, policy, and ethics of freedom of thought.” Its mission is “to develop social policies that will preserve and enhance freedom of thought into the 21st century.” It primarily seeks to do this by supporting the application of neurotechnological advances in society in a way that is guided by the principles of “privacy, autonomy, and choice.” They do this through legal advocacy, analysis, and education relating to the realm of neurotechnology, the cognitive sciences, and law. [TW]

Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library is a portal site that tracks leading information facilities in the fields of Buddhism and Buddhist studies. This site, providing a lot of other links, is edited by Dr. T. Matthew Ciolek and Prof. Joe Bransford Wilson. [KCH]

Religious Worlds offers information about religious traditions that developed in the Middle East or West Asia as well as others from South and East Asia. Besides religious traditions, this site furnishes a lot of links for academic resources, religion and modernity, religion and cyberspace, and religious experience. [KCH]

Portraits of Human Nature: Reconciling Neuroscience and Christian Anthropology. A summary from a seminar and a joint book project of 1998, this report on the complementary relationship between Christianity and neuroscience remains as relevant today as it was when first published.  Espousing a monistic, non-reductive, physicalist view of personhood, the contributors to the report present readers with a brief description of evolving human identity as defined by way of current scientific perspectives: genetic, neural and cultural.  Their conclusion is that, as physicalist beings, the idea of a spiritual soul as separate from the body has to be jettisoned in favor of a soul which is the whole person rather than a part of the person; and as a whole person the soul is only realized in relationship to other beings rather than as an individual, isolated identity.  Furthermore, the conclusion is that this idea of a soul in no way conflicts with the cornerstones of Christian history, theology, ethics or exegesis.  A great resource for anyone concerned about the current conversation between Neuroscience and Christianity, for anyone who wants fresh insight into the critical importance of 'relationships' for interpreting Christianity, and for anyone who is looking for a brief summary that could point them towards further, more exhaustive resources. [SLP]

The Mystica is “an encyclopedia of the occult, mysticism, magic, paranormal and more…” boasting over 890 articles. It aims both to objectively describe and to educate visitors about “past and present ideas, concepts, beliefs, and practices in the worlds of the occult, mysticism and paranormal.” It is a well-rounded site boasting various awards. [RLS]

Crystal Links is an excellent reference tool for links on Chinese philosophy, culture, and religious tradition. Highly informative links (including graphics) include Chinese “Art and Literature”, “Dragons”, “Metta Meditation”, “Tibet”, and many more. The site gives a good feeling for some dimensions of religious and experiences in the Chinese cultural context. [RLS]

3 Halo Sites


"Nataraj" by Jean Letschert
Ascharyaacharya; from here.

The Alister Hardy Society Religious Experience Research Centre is a group whose "object is to further the study of religious and spiritual experience started by Sir Alister Hardy" (who provided us with that exquisite list of the characteristics of religious experiences). Though there does not seem to be much of use on the website itself, its "links" page provides some ostensibly interesting links, particularly to sites pertaining to NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES. The Centre also has a research collection of first-hand accounts of religious experiences but that is not generally available from the website. [TK]

Understanding Religious Experience and Expression. Dr. Bryan S. Rennie provides the syllabus online for his undergraduate course at Westminster College. The course is meant to be an introduction to religious studies generally and takes an historical and phenomenological approach to religious experience more specifically. [LAW]

Spring Hill Music is a commercial website devoted to "body, mind and soul music”: music that aids and supports changes in body/mind/spirit consciousness, and music that is often generated out of the spiritual practice and/or experience of the artist. The offerings range through a number of genres and cultures (chant, instrumental, classical, or Native American, for example), and links to the artists’ biographies or websites provide more information about their particular practices and/or religious experiences. The company’s “about us” page also provides interesting insights as to the relationship between religious experience and practice and marketing/production values in the broader support and publicizing of religious experience and practice. Sound clips, reviews (favorable and descriptive), and quotes are provided for each offering. Spring Hill provides a service for those looking for often-hard-to-find music to broaden their musical tastes and awareness or to support their own body/mind/spirit practices, and also presents further information and personal accounts about the many ways music and religious experiences are so often intertwined. [VG]

Sounds True is a commercial site whose descriptive banner statements are “Wisdom for the Inner Life” and “Tools and Teachings to Spark Your Inner Evolution”. Offering music, spoken-word audio, audio learning courses, books, interactive learning kits, and instructional DVDs with high production values and customer service, the company presents from a wide variety of faith traditions, arts, and humanities on an eclectic range of subjects, to “strive with every title to preserve the essential ‘living wisdom’ of the author, artist, or spiritual teacher. … to create products that not only provide information to a reader or listener, but that also embody the essential quality of a wisdom transmission between a teacher and a student.” Links to author and artist profiles and websites provide further information on personal experiences and practices and how these inform their creations, and the company’s “about us” page presents their mission statement and some of the ethical practices to which that statement gives rise. Although there is a product category of “beginners’ guides”, the breadth and eclecticism of offerings would seem to make this site more suitable for those who are looking for particular supports or education for their own religious experience. Sound clips and excerpts are offered for each item. [VG]

The International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion states that its main objective is to “promote the cognitive science of religion through international collaboration of all scholars whose research has a bearing on the subject.” Their website has a calendar listing many events which relate to the cognitive science of religion, as well as a helpful links page that directs readers to academic projects, journals, books, and web resources dealing in cognitive religious studies. [TW]

The Ian Ramsey Center was “founded in 1985 for the study of religious beliefs in relations to the sciences and medicine” at the University of Oxford. The site includes information on seminars, conferences, and other research opportunities. Of special interest is the information related to the Cognition, Religion, and Theology Project, which is funded by a three-year research grant from the John Templeton Foundation. [TW]

The Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah site, maintained by Eliezer Segal (University of Calgary), provides an introductory resource list and reference for those interested in the academic study of Jewish mysticism. Its bibliographical listings are helpful, but incomplete and insufficient. It contains overviews, introductions and pictorials that may be helpful to those who wish to begin to explore the history, range and scope of Jewish mystical practice. A visit to the site is accompanied by cool electronica music which definitely enhances its “halo” rating. [BJS]

Jewish Blogging is a well constructed, membership-required, blog site that allows for discussion among Jewish people of faith. It is full of links and resources but most importantly allows individuals to express personal religious experiences and share these experiences and questions with others who belong to the site. This site is a source for primary articulation of religious experience. This particular link directs readers to a blog entry on "Conquering Bad Religious Experiences." [SST]

Dignity USA is Catholic organization and this is its website. Dignity USA. Dignity is an association of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender Catholics. There is a specific site, Breath of the Spirit, within the website for discussion of spiritual issues and for sharing of experiences. This site is a primary source for the religious experience of a segment of Roman Catholics whose voice is not often heard within wider institution. [SST]

Chad Hansen's Chinese Philosophy Pages contains segments of an extended interpretive theory of Classical Chinese philosophy that takes Daoism as the philosophical center and also contains Chad Hansen's my related writings about Confucianism, Mohism, and Legalism. Chad Hansen is a personal professor of philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. [KCH]

The American Religious Experience contains many reviews and publications on religious experience. However, they decided to take a break. So, there will be no update for a while. Although it is unfortunate, they have many sources and links, which can be very useful. [HJW]

Virtual Religion Index offers extensive sources for study of religion. Although this site itself does not contain articles or reviews related to religion, the site directs visitors to resources covering a variety of religious traditions. The site also offers regularly updated web links. Some entries are relevant to religious experience. [HJW]

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a good research tool for religion, philosophy, and psychology, especially for research students who would like to learn definitions, histories, and essential arguments. Some entries are relevant to religious experience. [HJW]

The European Society of Neuro Theology (SENT) is founded by Gustavo Rol. This site is somewhat exotic but SENT effectively introduces the study of neurology and religious experience by Dr. Andrew Newberg. The site also offers excerpts from the texts of various religious traditions. [HJW]

This Sufism website from the University of Georgia provides information about Sufism, which is Islamic mysticism. The site covers the origins and nature of Sufism, and the relation of Islam in general to Sufism. The site features a number of notable Sufi poets, including Rumi, and furnishes links to Sufi poetry in a number of different languages. It also includes links to cartoons, Sufi publications, and articles. [NB]

Good Friday Article. This article details the Marsh Chapel Experiment wherein the possibility of inducing religious experiences through hallucinogens was explored. It is a fascinating look at the way drugs can be used in religious and scientific contexts, though as an article it inspires more questions than it answers. [NB]

2.5 Halo Sites


Art by Unknown; from here.

TotheSource claims to be “a forum for integrating thinking and action within a Judeo-Christian moral framework that takes into account our contemporary situation. We report the insights of cultural experts to the specific issues we face believing these sources will embolden people to greater faith and involvement.” It includes an impressive archive of past articles and seems to hang true to its proclaimed Judeo-Christian orientation while “Challenging Hardcore Secularism with Principled Pluralism.” The site layout is not easily navigated and a better index and guide to the site would make it more user friendly. But it is an interesting effort. [JC]

Wikipedia's entry on religious experience offers a reasonably good overview of the topic and provides many helpful links to further resources. The entry includes perspectives from theology, religion, philosophy, and science. [LAW]

The Parliament of World Religions bills itself as “the world's largest global interreligious event.” It is organized by the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, and meets every four years, bringing together thousands of people and various notable spiritual, religious, and political leaders. The Parliament and its Council were created “to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”; they are careful to emphasize harmony, not assimilation, unity, or conversion, in their programming, and seek to provide a forum for the sharing experience, vision, and ethical practice amongst religions in order to foster cooperation and mutual support. The website contains planning and invitational process for the upcoming Parliament and the reports and results of past Parliaments, as well as hopes for future education courses and toolkits. This website is a good resource for those interested in the current state of the inter-religious movement. [VG]

The Spiritual Competency Resource Center provides information and professional links for those interested in the intersection of mental disorder and religious experience. This is a website for mental health professionals which includes a “chapter” on “Genuine Religious Experiences.” It is a limited resource but does offer some primary accounts of religious experience. [SST]

Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism is a blog written by a rabbi teaching Kabbalah and Rabbinic Literature out of the University of North Texas. This site remains humorous, educational and critical without being irreverent.  The author, runner up for a 2007 National Book Award, provides commentary on everything from weekly Torah readings to Jewish occult masters to the various spellings of “Chanukah, Hanuka, Hanukka, Chanuka, Hanukkah”.  A picture of Jewish experience is presented that is relevant and revelatory for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike.  Also a great place to find that perfect piece of trivia for an awkward first date.  Or dinner with the in-laws. [SLP]

The Qigong Research and Practice Center. Kenneth Cohen's website is a good introduction to the basics of Qigong, a “system of healing and energy medicine from China”.  Considered by some as a spiritual practice, practiced by others as a way to improve their health, and even used by athletes to take their athletic potential to even greater heights, Qigong is increasing in popularity across North America whilst still being restricted – and in some cases illegal – in China.  According to the site, Qigong uses “breathing techniques, gentle movements and meditation to cleanse, strengthen and circulate the life energy (qi)”.  Qigong: A disciplined routine to incorporate into any religious practice or to simply study as a spiritual discipline itself. [SLP]

Excerpt from Migraine: Perspectives on a Headache, a NY Times 2007-2008 blog. William James expounded on the possible epileptic originations of the apostle Paul's Damascus visions; Hildegard of Bingen is often post-humously described as a migraine sufferer – evidenced by her  multiplicity of visions, illustrations and writings; and “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome has even entered the medical and psychological lexicon, a term borrowed from Lewis Carroll's book to describe altered human perceptions (in particular, the feeling of shrinking or growing!), often the result of a migraine or other neurological condition.  This blog, and this article in particular, offer further first-hand accounts of the religious, philosophical, existential and, yes, physically-painful experiences that migraine sufferers live through.  It is an insightful introduction to how a very physical process can dramatically alter a cognitive – and even spiritual – journey; it is also a testament to the fact that each journey, though labeled with one name, “migraine”, is, like each spiritual journey, unique in its history as well as in its eventual manifestation. [SLP]

Sacred Transformations concerns “personal stories of spiritual emergence, visions, awakenings, and their effects on people’s lives.” Visitors can share their own personal stories of spiritual experiences. Those offered differ in length and content, ranging from near-death experiences to encounters with aliens and angels, but almost all are interesting to read. [RLS]

Age of the Sage  is committed to “transmitting the wisdoms of the ages” culminating in “the mystical group” of traditions, consisting of  the major world religions: “Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism”. These are mostly caricatured by proof-texts and dogmatic positions taken by the writers of the site. However, an eclectic array of links is offered and site contains a wealth of intriguing information. [RLS]

2 Halo Sites


"Red Radiance"  by Laura Leiden;
from here.

The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism aims to advance and assist with the practice of contemporary Jewish meditation and contemplative prayer. It states: ”The Awakened Heart Project's approach to Jewish meditation comes out of a desire to cultivate an awareness of the Divine Presence along with the particular qualities of wisdom, compassion and kindness from a Jewish perspective.” While ambitious in its aspirations, the website is at the moment woefully inadequate with few articles and tutorials. [BJS]

The Experience Project website focus on all kinds of personal experience, and provides a discussion page for those interested in sharing spiritual or religious experiences. It provides an opportunity for expression of personal experience under varied topics. The “I Am on a Spiritual Journey” discussion page receives moderate activity. It is another primary source for self-defined religious experience on the web. Participation seems to be from the general populace. [SST]

The Australasian Society for Psychical Research & UFORUM site aims to support the examination, in a scientific spirit, of all anomalous phenomena, and of those faculties of human kind which appear to be inexplicable on any recognized hypothesis. [MS]

Religious Tolerance site operators declare themselves as Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. The goal of this site is to increase people's understanding and tolerance and decrease bigotry through informing them about various religions, their range of beliefs, and their historical development. [KCH]

The Holotropic Breathwork site explains a purported method of achieving healing and pursuing wisdom through systematic breathing, music, and other methods that are not coached by teachers, but facilitated through a method of “doing” that is “not-doing.” It is intended to bring out an inner healing and wholeness, instead of seeking outside remedies. [NB] is a website where people share their religious or spiritual experiences, offering them up for discussion, advice, or support. The discussion is mostly inexpert but the site it interesting to explore if only just for the sheer volume of spiritual anecdotes. There is a Famous Teachers section (though it appears to be “Coming Soon”). There is also a movies and music section filled mostly with mainstream movies like Contact, Passion of the Christ, The Celestine Prophecies, etc., as well as some that don't seem to have a specific “spiritual” message like Fight Club and The Shawshank Redemption. Check out the online store with new age knick knacks. [NB]

1.5 Halo Sites

Philosophy online provides a basic understanding of the distinction between subjective and objective interpretations of religious experience. There are no current references to further reading or other resources. When updated, this could become a useful resource. [LAW]

Deiuokara is a website dedicated to those interested in “Celtic Polytheism” and its existence reflects the wide contemporary interest in all aspects of Celtic spirituality. The site offers a glimpse at the nature of this interest and provides opportunities for discussion of personal experience. This is primarily a site for sharing, not linked with any ongoing practice center or professional/spiritual organization. [SST]

Philosophy of Religion offers many arguments for the existence of God, for agnosticism, and for atheism. This site also includes arguments pertaining to Christian ethics and brief biographies of historical figures and some modern authors. Look for the arguments relevant to the study of religious experience. [KCH]

1 Halo Sites

The Universal Life Church is a site that ordains everyone and anyone that asks – for free – in the pursuit of reversing a perceived negative view of religion. They then offer a number of services, such as wedding planning guides and credential placards, at a cost. The motto that “We are all children of the same universe” is prominently displayed on the home page above symbols from the major world religions, such as Judaism and Hinduism, as well as a pink triangle and the Sanskrit symbol for Om. They have a quick guide to a number of religious or thought systems including the ones that might be expected (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism among others) as well as less well known or unexpected systems (Bahai, Natural Law, Neopaganism, New Age, Primal Faith, and Zoroastrianism). [NB]

The Onion. To avoid a near-vacuum under "1 Halo Sites," which may be due to exceptionally generous reviewers or an exceptionally fabulous array of sites, consider The Onion. Look for the article on Evolutionists seeing a vision of Charles Darwin in the stain on a concrete wall, complete with debunking from religious experts. [SLP]

Serendip Brain and Behavior Site [KYJ] [KYJ] Go to Subjects > Psychology and Neuroscience [KYJ] [KYJ] [KYJ] [KYJ]

Key to Abbreviations of Contributors


Art by Unknown; from here.

The contributors to these web links are:

[BJS] Benjamin Samuels, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[GGL] Georgia Leiner, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[HJW] Hong Jongwook, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[JC] Jennifer Coleman, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[KCH] Kim ChanHong, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[KYJ] Kim YoungJu, member of the 2002 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[LAW] Lawrence A. Whitney, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[MS] Mark Shan, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[NB] Nathan Bieniek, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[RLS] Roy Smith, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[SLP] Sally Paddock, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[SST] Susan Troy, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[TK] Tim Knepper, teaching assistant for the 2002 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[TW] Todd Willison, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University

[VG] Victoria Gaskell, member of the 2008 Religious Experience Research Seminar at Boston University