The first Keynote will be delivered by Professor Ann Taves, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and former President of the American Academy of Religion.
Ann Taves is a Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
For almost thirty years, she has been studying unusual experiences that researchers variously characterize as religious, mystical, anomalous, and/or pathological. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including 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); and, most recently, Revelatory Events: Three Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths (Princeton, 2016).
She is currently working with collaborators on validating and testing the Inventory of Non-Ordinary Experiences in order to further our understanding of what counts as religious experience across traditions and cultural contexts. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011), a past president of the American Academy of Religion (2010); and Deputy General Secretary of the IAHR (2015-2020).