Committee Chair

Hood, Ralph W.

Committee Member

Watson, Paul J.; Biderman, Michael D.

Department

Dept. of Psychology

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

This study explored the phenomenological structure of mystical experience among 139 Chinese Pure Land and Chan Buddhist monks and nuns. Semi-structured interviews, thematic coding, and statistical analyses identified Hood’s Mysticism Scale as a valid tool for studying mysticism across religions and cultures. Stace’s common facets of mysticism as measured by Hood’s scale successfully described Buddhist experience as modified by Buddhist doctrines. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that these facets could be formed into Stace’s three-factor structure. A mystical introvertive unity hypothesized to be separate from an extrovertive unity appeared instead to converge in the Chinese Buddhist context. These results lent strong support to the thesis that the phenomenology of mystical experience reveals a common experiential core that can be discerned across religious and spiritual traditions. These data also demonstrated that this common core can and should be explored using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Degree

M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.

Date

5-2011

Subject

Buddhism -- China; Mysticism; Phenomenology

Keyword

Chinese Buddhism; Mystical experience; Mysticism scale

Discipline

Arts and Humanities | Psychology | Religion

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

vii, 39 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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