• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that personal religious experiences are the inspiration and driving force of faith and practice. Include your own point of view.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the view that personal religious experiences are the inspiration and driving force of faith and practice. Include your own point of view. Religious experiences can be seen as an influential role in the inspiration and driving force of faith and practice. Religious experiences can inspire and motivate and can enhance a religious believer's faith in God. However, there are certainly many more aspects of a person's experience of religion, which can have equally inspiring effects. I will begin by assessing how religious experiences can indeed be an inspiring and, in a way, the driving force of faith. A religious experience is a difficult phenomenon to describe, as it is a very personal event. Theologians such as Swinburne have attempted to categorise religious experiences, to make them easier to understand. For example, Swinburne split religious experience up into five different groups, including the categories of public and private experience. ...read more.


A more recent example would be Neale Donald Walsch and his 'Conversations with God' books, in which he records the dialogues he believes he had with God. Both examples demonstrate how religious experiences can be an inspiration and a driving force to faith and practice; after a religious experience the person can feel enlightened and with a new perspective of life. An excellent illustration of religious experiences playing an important role in faith would be charismatic experiences, in which people are inspired or enthused. Within the Christian tradition, there has been increasing evidence in recent years of powerful and emotional experiences. One particular group, which originated in a church at Toronto airport, experiences which have become known as the Toronto Blessing. People shake with laughter or collapse on the ground. They may cry or wail. ...read more.


Although religious experience does offer inspiration and motivation, it is not the main feature of devoted faith and cannot be relied upon alone. Faith is far more than simply having an experience that seems to prove The Divine's existence; religion and faith should be the way in which people have chosen to live their lives. People who have not had religious experiences are by no means less devoted than those who have had an experience; in some ways their faith can be stronger as it has withstood the challenges and uncertainties the person might have felt in having no kind of 'proof'. In conclusion, we can see that religious experiences can be the inspiration and driving force of faith, but that religious experience should not be seen as the only element in creating a devoted believer. I personally feel that, although religious experiences have undoubtedly affected many people, faith should be able to thrive without such experiences. If faith were to rely upon experience alone, it wouldn't be faith at all. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Religion in the Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Religion in the Media essays

  1. Assess the sociological for / against view of secularisation occurring.

    The figures do not include Free churches such as Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal churches. Here the pattern of changes in membership is more variable. There have been rises in membership of new churches and Pentecostal churches but falls in the membership of Baptist, Independent, Methodist, and other 'other' Free churches.

  2. Discuss the merits of theories of secularisation with regard to religion in modern Britain

    As we do this, it is important to keep the following in mind: 1. Anti-secularisation theorists are not necessary "pro-religion" (that is, such theorists do not necessarily set out to argue that religion is "alive and well" in our society).

  1. Assess the view that deprivation is the main reason for the growth or new ...

    Marginalisation can occur for the poor and members of some ethnic minority groups who may feel that they have been denied the prestige, the occupational status, income and opportunities which they deserve. Again this points to the fact that people in this situation feel disprivilege and so join NRMs to make up for this.

  2. Mystical experiance.A mystical experience is a type of religious experience. It is when a ...

    judgements and experiences should be accepted was valid unless they are called into question by other ideas, judgements and experiences. If a person believes that they have had a religious experience they will convince themselves to assess these claims we must assess the person and their reliability.

  1. Religion is simply a brain-washing control device to make individuals behave in the way ...

    from the responses by transforming the answers into graphs making the information easier to compare and understand.

  2. Are Near Death Experience's a valid form of Religious Experience

    or whether there isn't an invisible gardener (because of weeds and lack of order). The gardener i.e. God is debated over from an atheistic and theistic approach. Neither can be proved right or wrong due to the issue discussed previously of subjectivity.

  1. Describe and compare two conversion experiences

    Another way in which the accounts are similar is that Gotama was too undergoing a crisis. His ascetic lifestyle was not spiritually fulfilling and instead he lost focus on the spiritual aspect of life. Hence, Gotama assumes the doctrine of the middle way arguing that though materialism gives possessions too

  2. How Can Religious Experience Be Defined And What Are The Problems Of Defining Religious ...

    For instance the ultimate reality that a Hindu experiences is very different from the personal God a Christian experiences. This of course does not show that religious experience is not perceptual; it may only show that religious experience is more open to individual interpretation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work