RE 1 theory

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  • Created by: Rebecca
  • Created on: 21-12-15 14:41
What is a religious experience?
A direct, personal and powerful enounter with God/ultimate reality
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What is an indirect religious experience?
Experiencs, thoughts or feelings about God that are prompted by evens in daily life - e.g. looking at the stars in the sky and thinking about the greatness of God the creator (objects trigger thoughts/feelings about God)
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What happens in a religious experience where the person hears voices?
God is communicating his knowledge to humans.
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What are conversion religious experiences?
Dramatic change/turn-around in a person's life - e.g. from experiencing God, a person may change from being an atheist to a Christian
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Who invented the concept of a 'numinous' religious experience and what is it?
Rudolf Otto ('The Idea of the Holy')- a direct encounter with a being that is 'wholly other' (beyond the physical observable world where we live- outside of our knowledge/experience) to this world and which therefore instils a sense of awe and wonder
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What is a visionary religious experience? (visions) What three types of visionary religious experiences are there?
God or the divine is seen/observed. 1) intellecutal vision - in the mind, 2) corporeal vision - a vision of something physical, 3) imaginative visions - in a dream
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What is a mystical religious experience?
God is revealed directly and the person having the experience is passive (does not resist it). Mystical experiences also often involve the loss of personal identity which is somehow merged with God or the divine.
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What is a corporate religious experience?
An experience that is shared by a number of people in a group rather than just being a private and personal experience of God/the divine.
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Name two arguments that support the idea that religious experiences are veridical.
1) surely God would want to communicate with his 'children' 2) we cannot conclusively prove that religious experiences are false
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What might Freud say about voices as religious experiences?
Our instinctive self/instinctive desires/conscience says things to us that our superego doesn't want to say
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How can The Yorkshire Ripper be used as an example when discussing voices as religious experiences?
Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) said that the voice of God told him to murder prostitutes
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Name 2 strengths of numinous religious experiences.
1) you know when you have a 'wholly other' experience - it is clearly and recognisably different, 2) it gives you knowledge that you couldn't have otherwise had - how else could we have gained that knowledge?
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How would Descartes support the idea of visionary religious experiences?
He argues that we are all imperfect beings and so cannot have a vision of a perfect being unless God placed it there.
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What is a weakness of visionary religious experiences?
They aren't very reliable - especially if in a dream. If in 'reality', what if the person was hallucinating?
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What is a direct religious experience?
A person encounters God in a direct way. The religious experience is not chosen/willed by the person; the person experiences/observes God in some way.
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What did Otto notice about people who have religious experiences?
The person uses words such as awe/wonder/beauty to describe the experience, but te actual nature of te experience was ineffable (beyond human powers to fully describe)
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How are direct religious experiences of the numinous/God different to experiences in daily life?
Direct religious experiences are ineffable and not experiences of an object, but experiences of the mind - an awareness, feeling or sensation. Not like seeing God as a statue/picture - people aware of God and know him in an intimate/personal way.
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What is a possible weakness of the idea of ineffability being used to define a religious experience?
Some daily experiences in life are ineffable, but are 'ordinary' and do not involve God
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What is a weakness of the idea of an indirect religious experience?
They may be the same thing as ordinary life experiences - just that a religious person interprets them as having meaning/religious significance
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Swinburne ('The Existence of God') named 2 types of 'public' experiences. What are they and what do they mean?
1) Ordinary experiences - a person interprets a natural event as having religious significance (e.g the beauty of nature), 2) extraordinary experiences - appear to violate laws of nature (e.g. Jesus turning water into wine)
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What are the 3 types of 'private experiences' as classified by Swinburne ('The Existence of God')? What do they mean?
1) Experiences describable in ordinary language; dreams (e.g. Joseph's dream, Matthew 2), 2) non-describable experiences; direct, ineffable experiences of God; He is revealed, 3) non-specific experiences; looking at world from a religious perspective
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What does Dr William Lane Craig say about religious experiences?
They aren't subjective but an objective reality (veridical), arguments from religious experience aren't to say that God exists, religious experiences are self-authenticating even if you can't prove them to others
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Why does Dr William Lane Craig believe that God exists?
Life is ultimately meaningless without a God; without God, we must ultimately live without hope; God existing means we can come to know Him and His love personally - the highest status a human being can enjoy
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What does 'veridical' mean?
True, real or of an objective reality.
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What is Dr William Lane Craig's view on the veridicality of religious experiences?
The belief in God is a 'properly basic belief' - it is as real and reliable as any other sense experience. Unless you have a reason to prove that the experience is delusional, we have a right to believe that what we have experiened is veridical.
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On Paul's journey to Damascus, he experiences Jesus and changes from being a persecutor of Christians to one of the most important Christian preachers. What type of religious experience is this? Why?
1) Conversion - completely changes in character; persecutor to praising Christians, 2) Direct - personal, powerful encounter with Jesus, 3) Private (non-describable) - revealed to Paul in an ineffable way
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Moses experienced God through the burning bush, who sent him on a task to save the Israelites from Egypt. What type of religious experience is this? Why?
1) Numinous - Moses afraid (hid his face in fear) but also in awe, 2) Corporeal vision - physical vision/appearance of God, 3) Direct - God reveals himself personally
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The disciples experienced the Holy Spirit (as sent by Jesus) at the Pentecost (Pentecost = 50 days after Jesus went back to heaven). What type of religious experience is this?
Corporate and corporeal vision
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St Bernadette of Lourdes experienced the Virgin Mary and was told by her to dig at Mary's feet, where Bernadette discovered a mountain spring. What type of religious experience is this? Why?
Vision (corporeal - Marian apparition), direct experience (Mary gives Bernadette knowledge and has personal and powerful encounter with her), voices, numinous as seeing Mary and finding the mountain spring instilled awe and wonder in Bernadette
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What is the Toronto Blessing, which began in 1994?
Modern day Christians in a church; barking, vomiting, men pretending to be giving birth, uncontrollable 'holy' laughing. God apparently cleansing the soul and emotions to show forgiveness of bad things. Reports of healings/greater awareness of God.
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What type of religious experience is the Toronto Blessing?
Corporate, mystical (God revealed directly and loss of identity due to barking etc.), direct as God powerfully shows forgiveness, conversion in some ways as some report personal transformation
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Name a modern day example of a direct and conversion religious experience.
Gang member Nicky Cruz experiences God.
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What type of religious experience is Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection?
Corporate, direct, public (extraordinary) as resurrection violates understanding of laws of nature, private (non-describable) as reality of the resurrection was ineffable and disciples at first thought Jesus was a ghost
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Describe Joseph's religious experience of him experiencing God in a dream.
Joseph, while engaged to Mary, has a dream telling him not to be afraid of marrying Mary, even though she is pregnant and he is not the father - message of God received through a dream
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What type of religious experience is Joseph experiencing God in a dream?
Imaginative vision (in a dream), private (describable) as Joseph can speak of his dream and it wasn't ineffable, direct as still personal encounter with Jesus (just in a dream), voices as Jesus' voice gives Joseph a message
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Card 2

Front

What is an indirect religious experience?

Back

Experiencs, thoughts or feelings about God that are prompted by evens in daily life - e.g. looking at the stars in the sky and thinking about the greatness of God the creator (objects trigger thoughts/feelings about God)

Card 3

Front

What happens in a religious experience where the person hears voices?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are conversion religious experiences?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who invented the concept of a 'numinous' religious experience and what is it?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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