Sunday, 24 November 2013

Notes for RE-Vision

Notes for RE-Vision, a learning log/summary of key notes of the current Unit Revelation are available here.

Topics for Mock exams are: Existence of God & Revelation. 

Date: December 2013 (TBC).

Check progress of your study using "check point" available here.
You can also practice past paper questions here, click on the year: (2010), (2011) and (2012)

Extra info: only for those wishing an advanced level

Reflections upon to the terms "religious" and "experience"

The meaning of the word "religious" is changing. It is not simply based on theism any more. The growth interest in "New Age" (the alternative spiritual subculture interest in such things as meditation, reincarnation, crystals and psychic experience) and "Paganism" (a term covering all earth centred religions; natural religion rather than revealed religion) are two diverse element among the many that now feature in the early 21st century ideas. 

The meaning of "experience" is also problematic if it refers to "directly perceive". In this case the experience is subjective and private, an inner process that others cannot see. Therefore, there is no way of either verifying or falsifying it. There is also a difficulty in understanding the religious experience since it is private to the person experiencing it and often ineffable (defies expression; cannot be expressed in words).

Religious Experience, definitions:

(a) An experience that has religious insight. Usually, the unseen dimensions of existence and God, or Ultimate Reality, is the object of the experience.
(b) religious experience involves some kind of perception of the invisible world, or involves a perception that some person or thing is a manifestation of the invisible world. 
(c) An experience of an event in which one is conscious or aware of some supernatural being/God, or a being related to God, for example, the Virgin Mary, or some indescribable Ultimate Reality.
Hence religious experiences can be theistic (where God is the source and content of the experience) or monistic (where inner being/consciousness is experienced) as monism in the view that all reality is a unity or single substance.

General classification of religious experiences: 

1) Interpretative - e.g answer to a prayer
2) Quasi-sensory - e.g a vision
3) Revelatory - e.g an enlightening experience
4) Regenerative - e.g a conversion5) Numinous - e.g experience of God's holiness
6) Mystical - e.g experiencing of apprehending Ultimate Reality

You read more about: religious experience, excellent blog.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Religious experience or a trick of the mind (apophenia)?

"From seeing shapes in clouds to hearing Bing Crosby in a blizzard of static, we're all prone to finding things that aren't there. And there's a name for it: apophenia" Read the whole article thanks to the newspaper The Guardian here.
This photo shows a woman holding a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich that she says bears the image of the Virgin Mary.
Photograph: Joe Rimkus Jr/AP