background preloader

Theme 4: Religious Experience

Facebook Twitter

William James, part 2: The scientific study of religion. The Scotsman of May 1901 records how William James began the lectures that became The Varieties of Religious Experience, "in the English class-room of [Edinburgh] University, where a crowded audience assembled".

William James, part 2: The scientific study of religion

He was the kind of communicator who attracted more and more auditors as a course proceeded. When, in 1908, he gave the Hibbert lectures in Oxford, the venue had to be changed from a modest library to the vast rooms of the Examination Schools building. "It is with no small amount of trepidation that I take my place behind this desk," he opened, "and face this learned audience. " The reasons for his strikingly humble tone were several. American universities had only recently started to award higher degrees, so thinkers of James' generation travelled to Europe to research. William James, part 4: The psychology of conversion. The case of Stephen H Bradley, reported by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience, is arresting.

William James, part 4: The psychology of conversion

At the age of 14, he had a vision of Jesus. It lasted only a second. Christ was in the young man's room, "with arms extended, appearing to say to me, Come. " From that day on, Bradley called himself a Christian. Then, when he was in his mid-20s, he attended a revivalist meeting. His heart beat fast. Bradley had undergone a religious conversion and, as is his wont, James considers a range of similar cases in the Varieties.

But, strictly as a psychologist, what sense can be made of it? It's an insight that stems from the work of Sigmund Freud, whom James met. Conversion matters to James for reasons other than that it is a common religious experience. This does leave him open to the charge of elitism and, indeed, the study of religion since James has tended to be more democratic. This is not to say that conversions are possibly deluded. William James, part 6: Mystical experience. Mysticism is a crucial aspect of the study of religion.

William James, part 6: Mystical experience

"One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience has its roots and centre in mystical states of consciousness," William James writes in The Varieties. That said, it's important to be clear about what he means by phrases like "states of consciousness". Our view is coloured by a psychologising tendency that's grown since James. It can be associated, in particular, with Abraham Maslow's notion of "peak experiences" – the ecstatic states that satisfy the human need for self-actualisation.

This exaltation of feelings of interconnectedness is questionable on two counts. First, Maslow's analysis is scientifically dubious. Spinoza, part 2: Miracles and God's will. Swinburne response to Challenges. Religious Experience Tasks. James' Characteristics of Religious Experience Flashcards. Religious Experience: Conversion Flashcards. Pope Francis to canonise two children at Portugal's Fatima shrine. Image copyright AFP/Getty Pope Francis is to make two shepherd children saints at the Fatima shrine complex in Portugal on Saturday.

Pope Francis to canonise two children at Portugal's Fatima shrine

It is 100 years since the two - and a third child - reported seeing the Virgin Mary while tending sheep. The third is also on the way to sainthood. The Pope arrived at a military airbase north of Lisbon on Friday and later greeted pilgrims in Fatima. More than a million are expected. Portugal has boosted security and re-imposed border controls temporarily.

Roman Catholic pilgrims have converged on the Fatima Sanctuary from countries as far away as China, Venezuela and East Timor. Plea for harmony On Friday, Pope Francis flew into Fatima, north of Lisbon, in a helicopter and travelled through town in his "Popemobile". At a candle-lit vigil he called for harmony between all people at the Chapel of the Apparitions and spoke of wars "tearing our world apart". The chapel is built on the very spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared. Image copyright EPA. How the church determines a true Marian apparition. A pilgrim walks on her knees at the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal in 2015.

How the church determines a true Marian apparition

(CNS/Reuters) By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When it comes to Marian apparitions, the Catholic Church takes a prudent approach that focuses more on the message than the miracle. News Briefs/Rss. Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 / 05:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness to a miracle that not only proved the validity of the Fatima Marian apparitions, but is also said to have shattered the prevalent belief at the time that God was no longer relevant.

News Briefs/Rss

What crowds witnessed the day of the miracle was “the news that God, in the end, contrary to what was said in the philosophy books at that time, was alive and acting in the midst of men,” Dr. Marco Daniel Duarte told CNA in an interview. If one were to open philosophy books during that period, they would likely read something akin to the concept conceived by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who died in 1900 and boldly made the assertion in his 1882 collection “The Gay Science” that “God is dead.” Religious Experience Key Terms 1 Flashcards.

Religious Experience Presentation. Religious Experience - Philosophical Investigations. Mysticism. 2. Mysticism part B. 3. types of mysticism. 4. issues with mysticism. 5. Julian of Norwich. Meister eckhart. Teresa of Avila with writings. 2. How the features of mysticism are illustrated by the mystics AS.