Ann Taves

Ann Taves

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’ research focus has shifted from answering historical questions about religion to using historical and ethnographic sources to exploring how people make sense of ambiguous events and experiences that inhabit the indeterminate space between imagination and reality, craziness and inspiration, fiction and faith. She is particularly interested in experiences, people, objects, & events that people perceive and set apart as special and in the practices and alternate conceptions of reality that people oftentimes associate with them. Empirically, she pursues this research primarily within the contexts of American religious history, the history of Christianity in the modern era, and the history of the scientific study of religion, psychology, and related phenomena (e.g., psychical phenomena, magic, superstition).