AQA A2 Religious StudiesWatch
I thought as there are practically no resources out there for the religious experience topic that i would share my revision document. Feel free to comment if you think something is lacking. If anyone would like to share there own revision, please feel free.
I added this stuff as I was reading along and some of what I said at the start cropped up else where but just to show they could come under many different headings i didn't delete them. Hope any of this helps. I was using this to revise haha, any questions feel free to ask away.
I'd put under 'Ideasabout what might in general terms be regarded as a religious experience andwhat the term might mean. ' Otto's ideas that all religious experiences have this numinous quality of fear and fascination. Perhaps also Jame's four P.I.N.T (passive/ineffable/noetic/transient) features. Also Hardy and Hay's differences between experience and an ordinary experience, helps to define what one is. Happold also argues there are only two types of religious experience being knowledge and understanding or love and union.
If it was a question on what is meant by the term religious experience i would further add classifications by Swinburne and Franks Davies.
Foundation experiences, Joseph Smith and the foundation of Mormonism is an interesting faith built on a vision and revelations. Also John Wesley and his conversion experience out at sea in which he founded Methodism which was pretty revolutionary at the time. I'd definitely include St Paul as well for Christianity as his epistles form most of the New Testament and many of the moral behaviors are founded on his teachings post conversion experience through revelations.
Conversion - The research on conversion motifs and features of conversion by Stark, Loafland and Braimbridge are fantastic to use. William James also has a list of features of conversions and also types of conversion social/moral/intellectual.
Visions - There are a lot of other types than just corporeal and non corporeal. Jame's defines 3 types of vision being corporeal, imagery and intellectual. Further, Peter Cole splits visions into; An image or event where a message is conveyed, religious figures, places (heaven and hell), fantastic creatures and the future (prophetic visions). Notably there are also group visions which are great examples for verification as well such as the miracle of the sun at Fatima or The Angel of Mons.
Mystical experiences - Happold's 3 types of mystical experiences, nature/soul/god. The difference between Western and Eastern mysticism is also interesting.
Revelations - When describing propositional and non propositional revelations reference these were described by Franks Davies for an extra mark
When you reference Tolstoy you can also reference in his book War and Peace the main character goes through a sick soul conversions Pierre Bezukhov a reflection of Tolstoy at the time.
The most important James quote "God is real because his effects are real"
Voltaire - Religious experiences often come at the end of a time of inner turmoil and religion always makes for a happy life
Swinburne argued that "the existence of God is more probable than not" because of his cumulative argument being when all arguments are added together the proofs are more likely. Also his principles of Credulity and Testimony are vital.
Alpert - the 4 elements of religion disciplinary/cohesive/vitalizing/euphoric
Marx - "religion is the opium of society" a control mechanism. Influenced Durkheim's work.
Freud - Believed that religion stemmed from repressed sexual trauma (Oedipus complex) and this repressed guilt is then later causes side effects such as OCD and religion. We have visions based on wish fulfillment, seeing what we want to see to make our consciousness feel better. He also believed that we have a collective unconscious in which religion thrives.
Jung - Disagreed with Freud and Freud believed religion to be negative, Jung thought Religion to be necessary for survival. In the process of individuation at mid life we balance out the aspects of our mind, one aspect being the God and self what he describes "archetype" when we balance this it can often lead to conversions ect. If we do not come to terms with our God and self archetype we could go mad.
Walter Stace also argues that mystical experiences can be introverted, caused from withing or extroverted, caused by our surroundings.
Habel believed similar to Stace there were mediated, sought out experiences and immediate experience, spontaneous.
As an opposite for an experience that resulted in practice, use Whirling Dervishes who practice dance to induce an experience.
There is a lot more to be said about experiences affecting behavior, i'd use examples of it effecting the who religion, then a sect and then an individual.
Anti-realism would fit here well, that an experience isn't what is valuable but how that experience changes the individuals life.
For; The value of religious experience in particular religions, both ashistorical events and as on-going present day experiences.
I tackled this question differently to you (nothing wrong with this as it's such a wide topic)
Hume has some great points for verification such as the fab quote "a wise man proportions his beliefs to the evidence"
Ayer's verification principle.
From reading the bits that were more like an essay, this isn't a criticism i'd just say that you should include more counter arguments