Philosophy - Religious Experience

Philosophy syllabus as - religious experience. (:

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  • Created by: Beth Guy
  • Created on: 20-05-10 15:46



When someone believes to have seen, heard or dreamt something of a supernatural nature.

3 ways of having a vision...

Intellectual vision - brings knowledge and undesrtanding. (Revelation from God)

Imaginary vision - something that strengthens faith seen in the mind's eye.

Coporeal vision - where figure is externally present. (Bernadette)

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Examples of visions..

Joseph's vision (Matthew 2;13)

- 'When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.'

Apostle Paul's experince threw him to the ground. (Acts 9;3-5)

- 'Suddenly a light from heave flashed around him. He fell to the ground.'

Mary (Luke 1;26-28)

- 'God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth.

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Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

- Brain disorder that can lead to religious hallucinations.

- Religious leaders supposedly experienced..

St Paul - Blinding flash 'seizures'

Moses - Burning bush 'seizures'

Electromagentic field in right hemisphere causing feeling of other presence in 80% of people.

Naturally occuring fields cause this feeling too. (Northern lights)

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A conversion is a change from one belief to another.

Features of a conversion...

Intellectual - Thinking of logic (Between 2 systems of thought)

Moral - What's right and wrong (Around a lifestyle or behaviour)

Social - People around you (Changing friends, acceptance)

Valitional - Choose it to happen

Self - surrender - Don't choose it to happen

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Examples of conversion...

Conversion of Paul; Saul was a Jew who was instrcuted to round up Christians in Damascus. Blinded by a light and heard a voice from heaven. Converted to Christianity.

Tolstoy; Converted on deathbed because he was afriad of going to hell.

C S Lewis; On reaching Whipsnade Zoo, he believed Jesus was the son of God. 'It was more like when after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, a man becomes aware that he is awake.'

William James; 'Man's extremity is God's opportunity.'

Edwin D Starbuck; People can only go so far in trying to change. You have to 'allow' it to happen.

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Brian Coleman


Not bad :) Could have included who thought up of the temporal lobe epilepsy ;) Michael Persinger!

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