Researching in the RERC Archive
‘Researching in the RERC Archive’ is a very appropriate title for a paper commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sir Alister Hardy’s establishment of the Religious Experience Research Centre. But how to begin? Actually, the real question is: where to stop?! At the very least, I take the title to involve at least some degree of reflection on what it was like to actually do that research. What it felt like to work within the archive and what impact the discoveries I made had on me, the researcher. In fact, at the outset I realise that I have never actually done that. So I am going to try to do it now, at least to an extent, whilst quoting quite liberally from archival material: for there is no better way to describe what it is like to research in the RERC archive than to hear some accounts at first hand, unfiltered by the researcher and presented as they were written.
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