Kim, “American Evangelicals Talking with God”

July 27, 2013

Kim, Rebecca Y. 2013. American Evangelicals Talking with God in their Minds. Pastoral Psychology.

Abstract: Tanya M. Luhrmann’s When God Talks Back examines how God becomes real in the minds of American evangelicals. How is it that sensible and reasonable people in this evidential world claim to walk and talk with God and experience God personally? Luhrmann answers this conundrum as an anthropological psychologist and sympathetic outsider delving into the world of American evangelicals. She finds that evangelicals are able to experience an all-loving God who has a direct and positive effect in their lives because they train their minds to do so. They school their minds to see, touch, and feel God. Reviewing the book’s important contributions to our understanding of how faith is conceived in the mind, this article raises questions for religious practitioners and those in the field of pastoral psychology regarding people’s efforts to have and to hold onto their faith in the modern world.

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