The Work of the Religious Experience Research Unit.

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  • The Work of the Religious Experience Research Unit.
    • Established in 1969.
      • A time when spirituality was particularly popular.
    • Hardy believed spirituality was innate.
      • Hardy believed humans were unique: the only humans to feel spirituality.
        • Wanted to prove humans are spiritual and religious.
    • The University of Wales: Lampeter is the current location.
    • Hardy placed adverts in the newspaper.
      • These adverts asked for people to write and send in their experiences.
        • By writing them in, Hardy believed the non religious people would be more honest about their experiences.
          • People knew they would be kept anonymous and they would not have to talk about it aloud.
    • The Hardy Question:
      • 'Have you ever been aware/influenced by a presence or power, whether you call it God or not?'
    • Hardy's work was not confined by religion.
      • He wanted to search for the feeling of spirituality both inside and outside mainstream religion.
    • Hardy wanted to study religious/spiritual experience in a way which was considered scientific.
      • Hardy collected many case studies.
    • The case studies have been computerised and can be accessed by anyone.
      • They hold meetings and conferences annually.
    • A third of all adults answered the Hardy Question with a yes.
      • This was found across all educational levels.
        • However, David Hay believed that they were more frequent amongst the better educated.
      • Half of the population felt they had a meaningful experience.
      • This was repeated in India and Turkey.
        • In Turkey the question had to be rephrased, because they did not have a concept for religious experience.
      • Only 8% said they were religious.
        • Yet, 56% said they felt a spiritual power.
    • Hardy was a biologist.
      • The Religious Experience Research Unit was first established in Oxford in 1969.
    • Helping people to talk about their religious experiences without them feeling odd.
      • Also, if outside religion giving them a way to express such a complex experience.
    • Case Study.
      • Alan Griffiths.
        • Nature Mysticism.
          • He experienced an awakening when looking out at the natural world. He felt awe and wonder, from the beauty of nature.  feeling of sweetness never felt before.


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