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A Comparative Study of Mystical Experience Among Christian, Muslim, and Hindu Students in Tamil Nadu, India

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Hood developed a Mysticism Scale based on the theoretical work of Stace. The scale was tested by Hood and others in a comparative perspective. Using an abridged version of Hood's Mysticism Scale, we join the debate with a study of a much larger number of Christian, Muslim, and Hindu respondents (1,920 college students) living in Tamil Nadu, India. Our empirical analysis yields a moderately reliable model of mystical experience that permits comparison between the three religious traditions. We argue for the usefulness of a comparative model of vertical mysticism that combines with the complementary common characteristics of noetic quality and ineffability. Vertical mysticism has a revelatory, ineffable character and is comparable in the experience of adherents of the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Practical TheologySalesian Pontifical University 2: Department of Empirical Practical TheologyRadboud University Nijmegen 3: Department of Empirical Study of ReligionRadboud University Nijmegen

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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