Ann Taves

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Ann Taves
Born 1952
Alma mater Pomona College
Occupation Author and professor of Religion
Employer University of California, Santa Barbara
Spouse(s) Raymond Paloutzian
Website Faculty page

Ann Taves is a professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a former President of the American Academy of Religion (2010).[1] She holds the chair of Catholic Studies at the university. Taves is especially known for her work Religious Experience Reconsidered, stressing the importance of the findings and theoretical foundations of cognitive science for modern religionists.


Taves was born in 1952.[2] Taves received her bachelor's degree from Pomona College on religion in June 1974. She went on to receive her master's and doctorate from the University of Chicago Divinity School in June 1979 and December 1983 respectively.[3]

Taves was married to Raymond Paloutzian on 29 December 2007, in Santa Barbara.[4]

In 2013, Taves received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of religion.[5]


  • What Matters: Ethnographies of Value in the (Not So) Secular Age, co-edited with Courtney Bender (Columbia, 2012)
  • Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things (Princeton, 2009)
  • Fits, Trances and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton, 1999)
  • Religion and Domestic Violence: The Memoirs of Abigail Abbot Bailey (Indiana University Press, 1989)
  • The Household of Faith: Roman Catholic Devotions in Mid-Nineteenth Century America (Notre Dame, 1986 [hc], 1990 [pb]).

Fits, Trances, and Visions

Fits, Trances, and Visions (1999) charts the experience of Anglo-American Protestants and those who left the Protestant movement beginning with the transatlantic awakening in the early 18th century and ending with the rise of the psychology of religion and the birth of Pentecostalism in the early 20th century.[6]

It charts the synonymic language of trance in the American Christian traditions: power or presence or indwelling of God, or Christ, or the Spirit, or spirits. Typical expressions include "the indwelling of the Spirit" (Jonathan Edwards), "the witness of the Spirit" (John Wesley), "the power of God" (early American Methodists), being "filled with the Spirit of the Lord" (early Adventists; see charismatic Adventism), "communing with spirits" (Spiritualists), "the Christ within" (New Thought), "streams of holy fire and power" (Methodist holiness), "a religion of the Spirit and Power" (the Emmanuel Movement), and "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" (early Pentecostals).[6]

It focuses on a class of seemingly involuntary acts alternately explained in religious and secular terminology. These involuntary experiences include uncontrolled bodily movements (fits, bodily exercises, falling as dead, catalepsy, convulsions); spontaneous vocalizations (crying out, shouting, speaking in tongues); unusual sensory experiences (trances, visions, voices, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences); and alterations of consciousness and/or memory (dreams, somnium, somnambulism, mesmeric trance, mediumistic trance, hypnotism, possession, alternating personality).[6]

See also


  1. Past presidents of the AAR (Accessed 4 July 2014)
  2. Worldcat identity listing for Ann Taves
  4. Claremont Graduate University, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Spring 2008 Newsletter, "Faculty Student and Alumni Milestones", page 15 (accessed 4 July 2014).
  5. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fellowships to Assist Research and Artistic Creation. Ann Taves (accessed 4 July 2014).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Taves 1999, p. 3.