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Flashcards in Religious experience Deck (49)
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What are the forms of religious experiences?

Mystical experience
Conversion experience
corporate religious experience
numinous experience
near- death experience


Mystical experiences

- the term mystical refers to the sense of connection with God at a deep personal level, where God is beyond the boundaries of reason and knowledge.
- relatively modern term- used to convey the idea that all religious experiences share in common a sense of divine- expressed in different ways.


what are the stages the soul goes through during a mystical experience?

1. devotion of heart- prayer& contemplation.
2. devotion of peace- surrender to God.
3. Devotion of union- Absorption in God.
4- Devotion of ecstasy- consciousness of the body disappears.


The 4 characteristics of a Mystical experience?

1. ineffable- beyond description
2. noetic- reveals something of Gods nature.
3. Transient- temporary with long term consequences
4. passive- recipient& in control.


Mysticism conveys what idea?

the idea that the physical world is not all that there is, and that God is the foundation of everything.- God known not through reason but through intuition, through the soul rather than the mind.


Mystical experiences can involve what?

seeing visions or hearing voices.


well- known mystical experiences include what?

include visions of Julian of Worwich, Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi and Bernadette soubirous.


what are conversion experiences?

-involve abandoning an old way of life and adopting a new one, based on inner experience.


conversion experiences can sometimes be what?

They are dramatic and sometimes gradual.


what book describes the pattern of conversion experiences?

HD lewis, book our experience of God.


what is the pattern found in may conversion experiences?
( first two steps)

The individual is dissatisfied with their current 'system of ideas'.
The person searches for answers e.g by reading scripture or trying out going to church.


pattern found in many conversion experiences?
(third and fourth steps)

There is a point of crisis, which can be emotional, with a sense of the presence of God. The person might see a vision, hear a voice or have a strong sense of forgiveness.
There is a following sense of peace and joy, and keenness to tell others about the experience.


pattern found in many conversion experience?
fifth step

In the long-term, there is a change of direction for the person.


what does William james say about conversion experiences?

in conversion experiences, something which was once on the edge of a persons consciousness becomes at the centre, and religious aims become a habitual focus of energy.


what is well known conversion experience?

include the conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus.


what is a corporate religious experience?

A corporate religious experience is when several different people all have the same religious experience at the same time.


What do some people think about corporate religious experiences?

some people think these have more evidential force as there are more witnesses to the experience.


what do other people think of corporate religious experiences?

others think that people could be carried along by others' emotions and that they do not have more evidential force.


examples of religious experience?

well- known corporate religious experiences include the story of Pentecost ( acts 2) and modern experiences of the Toronto blessing.


What is near death experience?

Near- death experiences are sometimes reported by people whose hearts have stopped beating or who have been comatose.


near- death experience?

Near- death experiences are sometimes reported by people whose hearts have stopped beating or who have been comatose.


what are similarities in descriptions of a near- death experience?

include a sense of being 'out of body', feeling a loving presence or a sense of great peace, and feeling as if travelling through a tunnel towards a bright light.


some people see near- death experience as what?

some people see these as evidence of life after death, whilst others are more sceptical and think they are more likely to have a natural, scientific explanation.


William james wrote a book called what?

The varieties of Religious Experience (1902)


William james aimed to do what?

He aimed to take an objective, scientific approach to religious experience and explore it through collecting peoples own accounts of their experiences.


William james thought what?

he thought that religious experience could be tested for validity by its long- lasting effects, just as a medicine can be tested by seeing whether it makes the patient better.


James's approach to understanding truth is what?

pragmatist- he thought that the truth of something could be established by its practical results.


William identified four main qualities of religious experience- what is first two?

1. ineffability- difficult to express in normal everyday words.
2. Noetic quality- recipients feel they have learned something they don't know before.


Williams third and forth main qualities of religious experience?

3. Transience- the experiences do not last long although the effects may last a life time.
4. Passivity- The person feels the experience is happening to them rather than that they are doing It.


what did james notice?

He noticed that religious experiences feel very convincing to those who have them.