Skip to content

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

Paul in Ecstasy
The Neurobiology of the Apostle's Life and Thought

$103.00 (C)

Award Winner
  • Author: Colleen Shantz, University of St Michael's College, Toronto and Toronto School of Theology
  • Date Published: April 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521866101

$ 103.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • While many readers of Paul’s letters recognize how important his experience was to his life and thought, Biblical scholars have not generally addressed this topic head-on. Colleen Shantz argues that they have been held back both by a bias against religious ecstasy and by the limits of the Biblical texts: How do you responsibly access someone else’s experience, particularly experience as unusual and debated as religious ecstasy? And how do you account responsibly for the role of experience in that person’s thought? Paul in Ecstasy pursues these questions through a variety of disciplines – most notably neuroscience. This study provides cogent explanations for bewildering passages in Paul’s letters, outlines a much greater influence of such experience in Paul’s life and letters, and points to its importance in Christian origins.

    • Combines 'hard science' with Biblical exegesis
    • Has implications for Biblical specialists in understanding both particular biblical passages and Pauline studies
    • Brings biblical studies into current conversation with broader cultural interests in religion
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2010 Frank W. Beare Award

    Reviews & endorsements

    “Paul in Ecstasy is highly original. It contains a compelling analysis of the prejudices against the themes of ecstasy, mysticism, enthusiasm, and charismatic experiences in mainstream scholarship and a very solid account of neurological research. The latter is by itself worth the price of the book.” – Robert Jewett, Guest Professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg and Part-time Professor of Biblical and Historical Studies at the University of Wales Lampeter

    “Shantz’s methodical and disciplined application of insights from cognitive neuroscience to the interpretation of Paul’s ecstatic experiences is insightful, balanced, and thorough. It takes a deserved place among similar contemporary studies of Paul and other biblical personalities such as Enoch, Ezekiel, and John. Her lucid and elegant style makes the application of complex scientific concepts to the interpretation of Paul easily accessible and pleasurable to read even for those entirely unfamiliar with or skeptical of this approach.” – John J. Pilch, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521866101
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What ecstasy?: an assessment of the misregard
    2. Paul's brain: the cognitive neurology of ecstasy
    3. Paul's voice: parsing Paul's ecstatic discourse
    4. Paul's practice: discerning ecstasies in practice
    5. The whole Paul: a short course in (non-deterministic) complexity.

  • Author

    Colleen Shantz, University of St Michael's College, Toronto and Toronto School of Theology
    Colleen Shantz is Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of St Michael's College, and in Toronto School of Theology, the consortium of seven theological schools at the University of Toronto.


    • Winner of the 2010 Frank W. Beare Award

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.