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
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
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...
... middle of paper ...
...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
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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