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Revelatory EventsThree Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths$
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Ann Taves

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691131016

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691131016.001.0001

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(p.290) Conclusion
Revelatory Events

Ann Taves

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter highlights the distinctive feature of the three cases—their claim that a suprahuman presence was involved in the emergence process—and discusses its implications for understanding emergent groups and the creative process. It argues that each of these suprahuman “presences” was motivated by an expansive vision and was intent on guiding the human collaborators toward a goal—a restored church, a fellowship of recovering alcoholics, and a metaphysical training program. Belief in these presences and their interest in guiding the group not only stabilized the process and structured the group, but also supported claims regarding the authorship of the key texts and the ultimate origins of the group. The chapter also considers key aspects of Emile Durkheim's Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.

Keywords:   group formation, group behavior, suprahuman entity, Emile Durkheim, emergent groups

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