Topic 8- Visions

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A religious vision occurs when an individual believes that they have seen or heard something supernatural or a supernatural being. Frank Davis places visions in a category called 'quasi-sensory' experiences ---> means some aspect of this particular RE has to do with one of the 5 senses.

Visions assumed to have strong visual element, as the word would imply. Visions are usually individual, though some famous ones reported by small groups of people.

Main characteristics:

  • vision more real than physical world
  • visions can occur in dreams/falling asleep.
  • occur in confused state, eg., fever or extreme starvation of food/water.
  • highly stressful situations such as war- 'angel of mons' appeared at the british troops in WW1.
  • Visions need to be authenticated + prone to suspicion of being caused by hallucination and wish fulfillment. can be easy/impossible to describe.

Intellectual vision brings knowledge and understanding such as a revelation from God.    


  • Julian of Norwich, the 14-15th century mystic, is a particularly good example of someone who received visions.
  • In The Revelations of Divine Love, she recounted one vivid experience:

‘And he showed me more, a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, on the palm of my hand, round like a ball. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, ‘What


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