Religious Experiences- Quick Revision

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  • Created by: Sharnie6
  • Created on: 29-05-15 11:53
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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
Sharnie6
What is a religious experience?
There are two types of experience:
· Indirect- refer to those where the mind of the individual focuses on God
· Direct- where a person meets God in a direct way
There are many philosophers that attempt to define religious experiences, and/or try
to argue that they do not exist. This module strongly links with miracles.
How does Rudolf Otto define religious experiences?
In 'the idea of the Holy' 1923, he set three requirements:
· A sense of awe
· A sense of fascination- overcoming initial fear
· An apprehension of the 'wholly other'- the two above, together with a feeling
of mystery and wonder, could be said to mean being in touch with the eternal.
What is numinous experience, according to Rudolf Otto?
An experience of wonder in the presence of God. It makes the person aware of their
relative insignificance. Religious experience is mysterious and beyond description, it invokes a
sense of terror or feeling of awe.
People are convinced by them and determine how afterwards, they determine things.
Cannot be explained in words, as the whole experience is at an emotional level, there is no
suggestion of unity with God.
What does Martin Buber suggest?
He suggests there are two types of relations:
· I-it relations- when we stand in relation to something as an object which is
entirely separate to us.
· I-thou relations- a shared intimate personal relationship, a mutual
interaction.
What does Swinburne say about Religious Experiences?
There are 5 types of religious experiences:
Public Experiences:
1. Ordinary experiences- a person interprets a natural event as having
religious significance e.g. Beauty of nature.
2. Extraordinary experiences- where it violates the normal understanding
of the workings of nature e.g., Jesus turning water into wine.
Private Experiences:

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
Sharnie6
3. Describable in ordinary language- experiences like dreams e.g. Joseph's
dream.
4. Non-describable experiences- direct Experiences of God in which
God/Wholly other/ divine is revealed to people.
5. Non-specific experiences- things like looking at the world from a
religious perspective.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
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What are voice experiences?
God can sometimes be associated with the idea of hearing the communication of
knowledge. The voice is usually linked with God. Hearing the voice of God is one aspect of a
Religious experience which could be a mystical experience. The voice usually communicates a
message, with three common features being:
1. Disembodied voice.
2. Voice communicates a revelation from God.
3. Voice is authoritative and passes in God's power.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
Sharnie6
What is Mysticism, according to William James?
Religious experiences are the true religion, religious teachings and practices are
secondary. There are four qualities needed for a religious experience:
· Passivity- out of an individual's control.
· Ineffability- experience cannot be described in human terms- difficulty to explain.
· Noetic Quality- the gaining of knowledge that they did not have grant to gain- not
through the senses.
· Transiency- experience out of proportion in Time and Space.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
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What are the strengths of Religious experiences?
· Aposteriori; as anyone can directly experience God.
· Religious Experiences can be experienced in groups, this adds credibility to the
argument I.e. Everyone can view it and if a group experiences a Religious
experience then they can't all be lying.
· Backed up by many testimonies.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
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Psychological challenge
· Argument:
· Many have argued that religious experiences are a product of human
psychology
· If this is true this would explain the common occurrence of religious
experiences both throughout history and across cultures.
· Freud:
· Links religion with a neurosis caused by childhood insecurities and the desire
for a father figure to protect us, like God.
· Religious experience are hallucinations that have a simple psychological
explanation.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
Sharnie6
Lack of Evidence Challenge
· Argument:
· There is a lack of evidence that these Experiences have happened beyond
what a person says. Religious experiences may lead to changes in a person, but
that's all it shows, this doesn't give us an insight into the nature or origins of
religious experiences.…read more

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RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE- QUICK REVISION
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What are Conversion Experiences?
Results in a change to a religious way of life as a result of some experience of divine
truth (directly or indirectly).
Direct- God reveals himself directly to someone who has not chosen to have the
experience.
Indirect- thoughts or feelings about God through everyday events.
St Paul
· Changed from being a persecutor of Christians to becoming one of the most
important Christian leaders.…read more

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