Focused Discussion: Tanya Luhrmann & Michael Lifshitz (January 15, 2021)

The CMB network met on Friday, January 15, 2021, to discuss on going research by Tanya Luhrmann and Michael Lifshitz.

List of Readings: Hearing Voices

Hearing a voice, feeling the presence of another being, or feeling that another being is present in one’s own body are human experience that are both surprising common, and central to religious practice in many societies. They have been explained, or at least discussed scientifically, in a range of ways—dissociation, hypnosis, absorption, psychosis, reality monitoring and so forth— and there is still no settled consensus about how to make sense of these events or whether they are, in the end, the same kinds of events. All share what a non-faith perspective might call “non-agency”: a person experiences a thought or sensation, but attributes the thought or sensation to a source not themselves. We’ll talk about our work on this topic as a means of generating discussion.