Ann Taves

Ann Taves (born 1952) is Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a former President of the American Academy of Religion (2010).[1] From July 2005–December 2017, she held the Cordana Chair in Catholic Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Taves is especially known for her work Religious Experience Reconsidered (2009), stressing the importance of the findings and theoretical foundations of cognitive science for modern religionists.

Ann Taves
Born1952 (age 67–68)
(m. 2007)
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
DisciplineReligious studies
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Notable worksFits, Trances and Visions (1999)


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

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

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

In March 2018, she gave the Gunning lecture at New College, Edinburgh on the topic "Religion as worldviews and as ways of life."[6]


Fits, Trances, and VisionsEdit

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.[7]

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).[7]

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).[7][8]

Other worksEdit

  • The Household of Faith: Roman Catholic Devotions in Mid-Nineteenth Century America (Notre Dame, 1986 [hc], 1990 [pb]).
  • Religion and Domestic Violence: The Memoirs of Abigail Abbot Bailey (Indiana University Press, 1989)
  • Fits, Trances and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton, 1999)
  • Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things (Princeton, 2009)
  • What Matters: Ethnographies of Value in the (Not So) Secular Age, co-edited with Courtney Bender (Columbia, 2012)
  • Taves, Ann (2016). Revelatory Events: Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths. Princeton University Press. ISBN 1400884462. [1]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Past presidents of the AAR Archived 2018-08-12 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 4 July 2014)
  2. ^ Worldcat identity listing for Ann Taves
  3. ^
  4. ^ Claremont Graduate University, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Spring 2008 Newsletter Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, "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 Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (accessed 4 July 2014).
  6. ^ "Gunning Lectures: Religion as worldviews and as ways of life". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  7. ^ a b c Taves 1999, p. 3.
  8. ^ Everdell, William R. (1999-12-26). "Joyful Noises". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-25.

Works citedEdit

External linksEdit