Mystical experiences – direct contact or oneness with God/ ultimate reality.
Numinous Experiences – feelings of awe and wonder in the presence of God.
Corporate Experiences – religious experiences that happen to a number of people at once in the same location.
Most would agree God cannot be proven or demonstrated to others.
· The religious experience unit founded 1969.
· Aim: to discover more about RE in the world.
· Published findings in “Religious experience today” (Wikipedia pdf. file).
· 31% of British people have “felt close to a powerful, spiritual force” or “had an experience that they may consider to be religious”.
· Can last a few seconds to a much longer period (no account of time).
· Different to all other experiences.
· Allows belief in afterlife.
· Can give a change in person or “sense of purpose”.
Mystical experiences according to William James
They are strange and unexplainable
Gave four criteria for numinous experiences:
1. Ineffable –beyond proper description.
2. Noetic – mystical states are not just feelings. They provide deep/direct contact or knowledge of God.
3. Transient – temporary experience but effects can last/ develop.
4. Passive – not initiated by the mystic but have a sense that something is acting upon them.
RE’s are psychological phenomena in our brains but they are not just this, there is more to it than just this.
Based on 3 principles: empiricism, pluralism and pragmatism.
Numinous Experiences according to Rudolf Otto
Mysterium – the mystery of experience.
Trymendum- awe inspiring terror.
We are all still fascinated by these strange experiences.…