Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Bucke, Richard

  • Charlotte MooreEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9038

Life and Career

Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was a Canadian psychiatrist who published a detailed investigation of a particular type of religious experience that he named cosmic consciousness, which he believed to be the next evolutionary step for humanity. Bucke was raised on a farm in Ontario, Canada, and is reported to have had very little formal education as a child (Bucke 1991, p. i). He left Canada to explore the United States at age 17, where he worked odd jobs (including silver mining) until age 21, when he returned to Canada to attend McGill Medical School (Bucke 1991, p. ii). During his professional career, he served as a Professor of Mental and Nervous Diseases at Western University in London, Ontario (Bucke 1991, p. iii). His research into cosmic consciousness was inspired by an experience that he had in 1872 that conforms to several of the criteria outlined in his study (Bucke 1991, p. iii). His book, Cosmic Consciousness, was highly regarded by Williams James and P....

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  1. Bucke, R. (1991). Cosmic consciousness. New York: Arkana.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.West Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA