Religious Experience

A religious experience (sometimes known as a spiritual experience, sacred experience, or mystical experience) is a subjective experience in which an individual reports contact with a transcendent reality, an encounter or union with the divine. Such an experience often involves arriving at some knowledge or insight previously unavailable to the subject yet unaccountable or unforeseeable according to the usual conceptual or psychological framework within which the subject has been used to operating. Religious experience generally brings understanding, partial or complete, of issues of a fundamental character that may have been a cause (whether consciously acknowledged or not) of anguish or alienation to the subject for an extended period of time. This may be experienced as a form of healing, enlightenment or conversion. The commonalities and differences between religious experiences across different cultures have enabled scholars to categorize them for academic study.

Many religious and mystical traditions see religious experiences (particularly that knowledge that comes with them) as revelations caused by divine agency rather than ordinary natural processes. They are considered real encounters with God or gods, or real contact with higher-order realities of which humans are not ordinarily aware. Sceptics or scientists may hold that religious experience is an evolved feature of the human brain amenable to normal scientific study. Such study may be said to have begun with the American psychologist and philosopher William James in his 1901/02 Gifford Lectures later published as The Varieties of Religious Experience.

Read more about Religious Experience:  Scientific Studies On Religious Experience, Causes of Religious Experiences

Other articles related to "religious experience, experience, religious, experiences":

Ralph E. Reed, Jr. - Early Days As Political Activist - Religious Experience
... Reed has said that, in September 1983, he had a religious experience while at Bullfeathers, an upscale pub in Capitol Hill that was popular with ... Regarding the experience, Reed said "the Holy Spirit simply demanded me to come to Jesus" ...
Causes of Religious Experiences
... Various religious texts prescribe meditative practices in order to achieve the state of consciousness which is typical of religious experience ... nutritive, ethical, and meditative methods in order to achieve specific kinds of experiences ... depression or schizophrenia Temporal lobe epilepsy Stroke Near-death experience Learning ...
Walter Künneth - Theologie Der Auferstehung (Theology of The Resurrection - 1933)
... that Jesus himself taught that visions from beyond the grave would not alter the religious experience of men (the parable of Lazarus and Dives, Luke 1629ff) ... help but think of William James's Varieties of Religious Experience) ... retreat into the immanent plenum of sensory experience (with its related Christology of Christ as purely an outstanding "servant of God"), was as unacceptable as Bultmann's accidental ...
Mythologia - Functions of Myth
... foremost functions of myth is to establish models for behavior and that myths may also provide a religious experience ... Similarly, Roland Barthes argues that modern culture explores religious experience ... Because it is not the job of science to define human morality, a religious experience is an attempt to connect with a perceived moral past, which is in contrast with the technological present ...
Religious Experience (book)
... Religious Experience is a 1985 book by Wayne Proudfoot, published by University of California Press ... the academic study of religious experience) is along the lines of that explored by William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience ... routinely raised by such academic study is whether religious experience of individuals reflects a truly hidden spiritual reality or merely physiological changes of state ...

Famous quotes containing the words experience and/or religious:

    This nightmare occupied some ten pages of manuscript and wound off with a sermon so destructive of all hope to non-Presbyterians that it took the first prize. This composition was considered to be the very finest effort of the evening.... It may be remarked, in passing, that the number of compositions in which the word “beauteous” was over-fondled, and human experience referred to as “life’s page,” was up to the usual average.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Never for a moment have I had one doubt about my religious beliefs. There are people who believe only so far as they can understand—that seems to me presumptuous and sets their understanding as the standard of the universe.
    Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)