Visions and Voices

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  • Visions and Voices
    • Visions
      • Occur in Variety of forms and various religions.
      • Muslim
        • Muhammad's Vision
          • Vision of the Angel Gabriel
      • Christianity
        • St. Teresa's vision.
      • Some thinkers refer to these as intellectual visions.
        • This vision is not the same as seeing an external object with the eyes.
          • It is instead a clear vision in the mind's eye. Religious believers who have these types of visions would argue that they are far too profound to be confused with the imagination.
    • Voices.
      • Usually the voice of God, but in cases such as Muhammad's the voice of an angel mediating the words of God, or Paul's conversion in Acts 9.
      • As with Visions, Voices carry authority and have a profound effect. The voice heard doesn't have to be an audible voice..
      • Augustine's experience
        • Was crying and asking himself questions with his heart filled with "the most bitter sorrow" when he heard a sing-song voice of a child in a nearby house.
          • It was singing "take it and read, take it and read." repeatedly. He stopped crying and stood up telling himself that this could only be a divine command to open his book of scripture.
        • The voice may have been the natural voice of a child, however, Augustine interpreted this to be a means of God communicating with him.
          • this shows that religious experiences may not always be supernatural, they may be natural events that we interpret to have religious significance
    • Are they Genuine religious experiences?
      • St.Teresa of Avila offered 2 tests to determine whether an experience was genuine.
        • -Does it fit in with Christian Teaching -does the experience leave the individual feeling at peace?
          • However some thinkers have stated, how do we know whether it is God. Some schizophrenics hear voices telling them to kill people, which they believe are genuine messages from God.
            • Some thinkers have observed that often visions and voices can be linked to physical factors, such as fasting.


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