Dogma and Dread: How Religion Becomes Reality
Jackson, Christopher M.
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This project has been the culmination of most of my interests over my entire time at Kalamazoo College. Sophomore year, for Carol Anderson's Ritual Theory and Practice, I wrote a paper as a final project getting in to some parts of the physiological foundations of religious experience, especially in ecstatic practices. This paper was originally going to simply expand upon that theme and give it more depth, but as the project went on, I found more and more things that I thought would be interesting to include. My Junior year, I took Cultural Psychology with Gary Gregg and came across the work of Felicitas Goodman and Janice Boddy for the first time. I also wrote a paper on the Kwakiutl for Dr. Anderson's Native American Religions class that was helpful in recalling information for the section on them in here. I focused on the theory side and addressed something I had not given much thought to before: how religions act in people's understanding of the world, and just how deeply one's religious convictions can be in how they understand themselves and their place in the world. That was the key topic that the final form of this paper addressed, and I hope I did it justice in these 55 pages.