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AQA A Level RS (ethics and philosophy) > Religious Experience > Flashcards

Flashcards in Religious Experience Deck (5)
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Visions: Augustine

Corporeal: empirical
Supernatural experiences mediated through physical senses
Eg: 18 visions of Mary that Bernadette of Lourdes experienced. Witnessed a small young lady who identified herself as the Immaculate Conception

Mediated through ‘the minds eye’, not through physical sight. Often take form of dreams
Eg: Joseph dream that Mary would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit

No image, but the subject of the experience claims to see things ‘as they really are’. Mystical visions. Hard to understand as they defy description. Enlighten the soul
Eg: Teresa of Avila


Numinous experience: Otto

Eg Isiah 6:1-8
“Holy, holy, holy is the lord almighty: the whole earth is full of his glory”

Experience that is basis of all genuine religion

Non rational and unique form of experience, totally outside our everyday experience

Sense of the wholly other

Emphasis on Gods transcendence


Otto continued:

Experience of the numinous:

Refers to presence and reality that cannot be understood with the senses or intellect

Sense of the holy

Idea of the holy:

Title of Ottos book on numinous experience

Holy=“other than”/ “separate”

Attempt to describe the same sense some people have of a reality totally outside and beyond their experience of them self and the world

Isiah experience gave rise to referencing God as “the Holy One of Israel”


Otto continued II:

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans

Fearful and attractive mystery

Refers to complex nature of numinous experience

Mysterium: refers to something far removed from humanity that can be experienced but not understood
Elicits response of awe and wonder

Tremendum: fearsome experience of Gods overwhelming majesty and energy
Creates sense of human nothingness therefore absolute dependence upon god

Compulsive and attractive nature of experience
Creates awareness for need of salvation
Isiah experienced Gods forgiveness and mercy


Swinburne: principles of credulity and testimony:

Rejected attempts to prove gods existence through logic but placed argument on probability of gods existence

Credulity: in the absence of special considerations, how things seem to a person is how they really are. Essentially about the believability of the individuals own personal and private experience

Testimony: absence of special considerations, we should believe what people tell us, essentially about the reliability of what others claim about their personal experience

Special considerations:
Person told lies in past- testimony
Claim seems beyond realm of possibility- credulity
Very difficult to show god was present - both
Other ways of accounting for experience- both