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Assess the view that the different forms of religious experience are nothing more than fantasy

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Assess the view that the different forms of religious experience are nothing more than fantasy. (45) The term religious experience refers to an experience a person has which has religious qualities and significance. Many people have researched into the idea of religious experiences and it is surprising to find out that a third of people in Britain have said to of experienced some kind of religious experience. These experiences have been researched to discover what impact they have on people's lives and whether this impact has a positive or negative result. Many scientists research the theory of religious experience to either prove or disprove the existence of God. There are four main forms of religious experience which can be considered when assessing this question that religious experiences are nothing more than fantasy. The first is Mysticism; this refers to an experience where people have had an intimate direct experience with God or some kind of heavenly spirit. William James was a philosopher who approached the idea of religious experiences he wrote a book called the varieties of religious experiences and came up with the idea that there are four main qualities that an experience should have for us to justify calling it mystical. ...read more.


This is where he met the gang members and eventually became the leader. Nicky committed many awful crimes and seemed unreachable and unredeemable; this was until he met a street preacher David Wilkerson who told him that Jesus loved him. This is when he experienced a dramatic conversion experience after a Christian meeting. After this he trained as a preacher and set up an outreach programme and teen challenge to help disadvantaged children. And he also managed to convert his parents to Christianity. Another conversion experience which was miraculous was the conversion of John Wesley who saw his conversion as a moment from academic acceptance to personal trust in Christ. At the young age of 6 he was almost killed in a great house fire at his home. From then on he decided to make religion his life and was ordained in 1725. At university he set up a group of people concerned with spiritual matters they nicknamed themselves the Methodists. Wesley became a missionary and travelled to Georgia to try and convert Indian settlers here. On the way back to England he was caught in a strong storm and he feared for his life until he noticed a group of Moravian Christians on board who were remaining calm because they felt so sure of there faith and they knew God would look out for them. ...read more.


These visions still have many unreliable qualities it could be said that they are more convincing than the previous religious experiences mentioned. This is because for these visions many of the predictions came true and were also seen by many others. The final form of religious experience is Revelation or divine self disclosure. Revelation can be defined as the communication of some truth by God to a rational creature. Hildegard of Bingen lived in Germany and from the age of eight she claimed that she felt God over shadowing her life. Hildegard recorded the visions she had experienced during her lifetime and she described the fact she felt she had had an insight from God about future events. From these findings of religious experiences, and the many different forms in which they can take, has aided me in answering the question about religious experiences being only fantasy. In many of these cases the individual has been in poor health and has had some kind of traumatic experience in there past. Although some of the explanations and descriptions of the religious experience have been very realistic especially those with more than one witness to them. Many of the experiences have been very miraculous and if they did occur, this could have been blamed on many factors such as ill health or poor diet, or even guilt and their mind was playing tricks on the person. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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