Religious Life and Its Dependence on Experience

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Religious Life and Its Dependence on Experience

Religious life depends on many things including experiences,

authoritative teaching and scripture, so depending on a number of

factors, I would agree with his view to a certain extent.

Religion is something quite hard to pin down, but may often be defined

as a set of practices or beliefs which a group of people may follow

with a spiritual outlook, rejecting the view of religion as a

sociological phenomenon.

Religious experience may therefore be defined as a situation or

feeling that affects or has affected you, in some spiritual, emotional

way that you may have perceived to be received from a greater,

‘divine’ being or force.

Religious experience can take many forms and be triggered by things

such as depression, prayer, creative arts, or even sex, however

different people regard religious experiences differently, so what may

affect one person may not even be of any concern to another. In this

sense, many people may not have even contemplated a religious

experience, but may still lead a religious life. Each individual

interprets the experience in the light of their own morality, culture

and personal history- the form of the experience is contributed by the

recipient himself.

When we attempt to measure the truth (veracity) of religious

experience, there are many problems which may arise, for example they

are difficult to measure and usually only take place within the

context of one’s own religion. They may also be due to the influences

of drugs such as alcohol.

Religious authority lies mainly in scripture but can trace their

origins back to a key figure who can se...

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...sis of your religious life may be a mixture of

both of these things.

Many religions depend upon the concept that God chooses to reveal

himself to humankind, leading this type of revelation or experience to

be a type of authority also.

However when guidance and understanding is needed, most religious

believers nearly always turn to religious scriptures for answers,

which may be another reason why scriptures may hold more authority

than experience

In essence, religious authority and teaching is a TYPE of religious

experience and vice versa. As much as we trust the authority of books

and testimony of others, personal experience is a primary source in

learning about religious life and basing our own lives on it.


A Student’s Guide to AS Religious Studies by Dennis Brown & Stephen

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