The character of America is tied to the nature of our religious experience.Whether like Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus or Wesley’s “strangely warmed heart,” the desire to meet or be met by God is as old as humanity. But America has been the fertile seed bed for what William James famously called “varieties of religious experience.” These experiences cover a wide spectrum from classic mysticism to revivalist conversion to a contemporary pursuit of spirituality. A Sense of the Heart traces the nature of religious experience from the colonial era to the present, defining its nature while describing common and distinct approaches in the work of various writers and practitioners. A Sense of the Heart offers a historical review of representative types of religious experience, the nature of such experiences and its impact on the American religious and cultural context as evident in awakenings, controversies, denominations, and new religious communities.
About the Author
Bill J. Leonard
Bill J. Leonard is James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies, Professor of Religion at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.