Religious Experience

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  • Types of religious experience.
    • Public and private - Richard Swinburne
      • Public
        • Ordinary Experiences: when a persons interprets a natural event as having religious significance.
        • Extraordinary Experience:  an event which may appear to violate normal understanding of the workings of nature.
      • Private
        • Non-describable experiences: direct experiences of God. These experiences go beyond human powers of description.
        • Describable in ordinary language: experiences such as dreams.
        • Non-specific experiences: include things like looking at the world from a religious perspective.
    • Visions: God is seen or observed
      • Corporeal Visions
      • Imaginative visions
      • Intellectual visions
      • can be noetic and revelatory
      • For example: St Teresa of Avila - visions which were seen 'not with the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of the soul'
    • Voices: The communication of knowledge from God
      • Characteristics
        • The message is noetic
        • The disembodied voice
        • The voice is authoritative.
      • For example: the calling of Samuel
    • Numious experience
      • Rudolf Otto - the numious ('wholly other'); 'mysterium remedum'
      • Martin Buber (1878-1965); 'I-Thou' and 'I-it' relations
    • Mystical experience
      • James' Four characteristics
        • Noetic
        • Ineffible
        • Transient
        • Passive
      • Examples: St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, Mother Julian of Norwich, the Buddha
      • Two types: Theistic and Nature
    • Conversion experience
      • Key Types: Sudden and Gradual
      • Examples: St Paul
    • Corporate Religious expeience
      • When a group/collective experiences the same religious experience pointing towards a higher being.
      • Examples: Toronto Blessing.


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