William James and the varieties of religious experience

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  • Created by: Abitracey
  • Created on: 17-02-13 14:40
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  • William James and the varieties of religious experience
    • James' cnclusions
      • Pluralism
        • The idea in religion that truth is to be found in many faiths.
        • James' research into experiences in differrent faiths led him to the conclusion that they are similar.
        • Those haing experiences may be experiencing the same ultimate reality, which is then interpreted into the 'second hand' religious belief structure that is most familiar to them.
      • Empiricsm
        • Empriricle evidence  provides us with clues as to the reality beyone what we see and hear
        • The idea that observations via our senses lead us to understanding the world.
      • Pragmatism
        • an account of truth that states that the truth is not a fixed thing but is whatever has value or works for us.
        • On observing the effects of religious experience, we have to conclude that there is truth to be found in religion.
    • Religion and religious experience
      • For James, religious experience stands at the heart of religion.
      • Actual experiences are regarded as true religion.
      • Varieties of religious experience
        • James viewed conversion as a transformation from a divided or imperfect self to a more unified consciousness.
        • Conversion, praye and the phenomenon of saintliness.
    • James' criteria for mystical experience
      • In philosophical thought, mystical experiences refer to experience where God is revealed directly and there is a sense of oneness with the devine or ultimate reality
      • Passive
        • The experience is not initiated by the mystic but rather they have a sense that something is acting upon them.
      • Ineffible
        • The experinece is beyond proper description. No adequate description can be given in words.
      • Noetic
        • Despite the ineffibility mystical states are not just feelings, the experiences gives the mystic a deep and direct knowledge of God.
      • Transcient
        • The experience is a temporary one that cannot be sustained, although its effects may last a long time. It can develop and deepen with each subsequent experience.


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