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Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
God = irrational
"Leap of faith" beyond reason
Subjective - "no objective way" of reaching God
Has been criticised because:
Strengthened by Kant
Subjective things cannot be proven…read more

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Rudolph Otto
"Apprehension of the wholly other." - direct experience
experience of the numinous and holy
One can perceive the numinous through direct intuition
"Mysterium, tremendum et fascinans.…read more

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Martin Buber
Personal encounter with the divine
"I-thou" not "I-it" relationship with God
People are incorporeal and can connect with each other and God through
direct apprehension
Criticised because:
Brian Davies - everyday relationships not comparable to relationships with
Psychology - relationship with God conditioned by tose we have friends
with etc
Peter Donovan "Can we know God by Experience?" Sense of encounter
may be mistake cannot verify intuition…read more

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William James (1842-1910)
Unifying core (PINT)
Feeling is a source of religious experience, felt not conceptualised
"Men in their solitude" "stand in relation to whatever they may consider the
divine.…read more

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William James and Conversion
2 types of conversion experience:
volitional - conscious and voluntary
self-surrender - person gives up, leaves it to God
Conversion happens when we are not looking for it
Subconscious divine intervention
Criticised because:
First type is not passive so contradicts PINY
May not be a result of God…read more

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William Alston's Defence of Mysticism
Everyday experience is reported and believed so why is religious
experience doubted?
It is possible we perceive God if there is a God to perceive
Sense perceptions - if we reported seeing a red car, no one would doubt
our sense perception
No reason to reject experience just because it is unusual
Criticised because:
Lash - God is a mystery so we can't be sure
Vardy - modest claim, if you believe in God it is reasonable to believe…read more

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Richard Swinburne
Cognitive - conforms to reason/test
Defines religious experience by separating into categories
Principle of credulity - what seems to be probably is
Principle of testimony - "experiences of others are probably as they report
them.…read more


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