Essay about Religious Experience

16280 Words Aug 15th, 2015 66 Pages
Frederick Mark Gedicks†
Roger Hendrix††
(forthcoming in St. John’s Law Review (Fall 2004))
And the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I." Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
—Exodus 3:2, 4-6
Now as Saul journeyed he approached Damascus, and
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Finally, we owe special thanks to David G regory, who enco uraged Professo r Gedicks to write o n this topic, and was instrumental in generating the invitation to lecture on it.

Pro fessor o f Law, B righam Yo ung U niversity Law School, Provo, U tah. B.A., Brigham Yo ung U niversity;
J.D., University of Southern California Law School. Email:

President, Hendrix Consulting, Salt Lake City, Utah. B.A., California State University at Long Beach;
M.A., Brigham Y oung University; Ed.D., University of Southern California. Email: rhendrix@hendrixconsulting. com. altar call experience with God–a heart-pounding, barely breathing, intense moment with God.
—Rev. Steven Usry, Harvest Point United
Methodist Church, McDonough, GA‡

1. Introduction: Religious Experience in Mass Culture
Less than twenty years ago, it was common for believers to criticize the many ways in which mass culture in the United States misrepresented or ignored religious experience.1 The few portrayals of religious people as then existed on television or in the movies–and there weren’t many--were usually of caricatured fanatics or immoral predators. In the vast world of television and film, it seemed that the only normal people who actually went to church each Sunday were
Bill Cosby and the Huxtables.
Times change. Mass culture is now replete with portrayals of religious experience.
Spiritually-themed television, movies, and books have

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