A look at anthropologist Tanya Lurhmann, and on how it is possible for people to experience the voice of a higher being:

“In the name of research, Luhrmann attended Sunday church where members danced, swayed, cried and raised their hands as a sign of surrender to God. She attended weekly home prayer groups whose members reported hearing God communicate to them directly. She hung out, participated, took notes, recorded interviews and “tried to understand as an outsider how an insider to this evangelical world was able to experience God as real and personal and intimate.” So real, in fact, that members told her about having coffee with God, seeing angel wings and getting God’s advice on everything from job choice to what shampoo to buy.

“After being introduced jokingly by Van Riesen as Professor Luhrmann to people who have known her for so long as Tanya, she told the group her book does not weigh in on the actual existence of God. Rather, her research focuses on ‘theory of mind,’ how we conceptualize our minds and those of others. In this case, she investigated how the practice of prayer can train a person to hear what they determine to be God’s voice.”