hufford believe spiritual beliefs persist H u m a n i t i e s

hufford believe spiritual beliefs persist H u m a n i t i e s


You’ll tell a story about a ghost or other paranormal experience involving spirits. Then, you’ll analyze classmates’ posts to try to decide if you think our class’s stories supports Hufford’s experiential source hypothesis about supernatural belief in spirits.



Immediately after this discussion in the topical module is a link to a reading in the library, “Beings without Bodies”, which describes Hufford’s hypothesis that the source of supernatural beliefs aren’t only what we’ve been taught, but also what we experience. ( I will provide pdf)

You’ll need to use this reading to help you with the assignment. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the following (some advice- for your own notes, try summarizing in a couple sentences responses to each of these questions):

  1. According to David Hufford, how have most academic theories approached belief in spirits? How is Hufford’s approach different?
  2. How do we learn beliefs? How are spiritual beliefs most commonly communicated?
  3. What is the relationship of official belief to folk belief? Why does Hufford believe spiritual beliefs persist in the face of the dominant discourse of science and skepticism?
  4. What is the experiential source hypothesis? How does it differ from the belief source hypothesis?

You need to complete BOTH parts!

Part 1.

In your original post:

Tell a story about an experience with a ghost or other spirit. If you have a story of your own, tell it. If you don’t, tell a story someone told you. Then, explain if your experience (or story) is part of your religion’s or culture’s (if agnostic or atheist) belief system, as well as how these stories typically are shared with others.

Your response should be 2-3 paragraphs.

Part 2.

NOTE: Try to respond to a classmate who has not received a response yet.

Read at least FIVE classmates’ stories, then respond to a classmate’s post…

Answer ALL of the following questions. Your response should be 2-3 paragraphs.

  1. Look for the similarities between stories among classmates. What themes run through the stories? Provide examples of similarities and differences between your story and your classmate’s (that you’re responding to) story.
  2. Given the evidence of the stories in our class, do you agree with Hufford’s experience source hypothesis? Why or why not? Justify your argument using examples from our class’s stories.