“Religious Experience as Experience of Repentance: How Phenomenology Increases Our Knowledge of Religious Experiences” (Springer) – Bianca Bellini

lunedì, 10 Febbraio, 2020
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We are glad to inform you that the paper “Religious Experience as Experience of Repentance: How Phenomenology Increases Our Knowledge of Religious Experiences” (by Bianca Bellini) is now published in the book The Problem of Religious Experience. Case Studies in Phenomenology, with Reflections and Commentaries (Springer), ed. by O. Louchakova-Schwartz, pages 287-312.

Please find below the abstract, the preview and the link for the chapter

Abstract

What are the essential traits of religious experiences? Should we account for them, or could we confine such experiences to a merely subjective dimension, which does not call for justification before others? This paper relies on descriptive phenomenology to argue that the dimension of religious experiences is not immune from justification. Indeed, it is the effort of justification that spurs us to identify the essential traits of religious experiences. An appeal to descriptive phenomenology will enable us to regard repentance as the core of such experiences and to grasp other phenomena essentially related to it. So, this paper intends to appeal to phenomenology as a descriptive philosophical method and tries to relate it to the dimension of religious experiences. This means that we will delve into the nature of phenomenology itself so as to understand what our main goal entails: Are there specific phenomenological issues that we should appeal to in our effort of accounting for religious experiences from a phenomenological perspective? Our phenomenological reflections upon repentance will show how its role exceeds the religious dimension, since it will turn out to be an essential keystone of the process of self-shaping too.

 

Preview

The topic of religion is often tackled from a philosophical or theological standpoint; nonetheless, at first blush, religion seems to be a quite unapproachable topic: religious experiences seem to be too subjective or even too intimate to call for research focusing on their inherent trademarks. Should we account for this kind of experience, or could we confine such experiences to a merely subjective dimension, which does not call for justification before others? This paper argues that we have to account for this kind of experience and that such an attempt flows into the identification of the essential traits of religious experience. Within this framework, we will bring to light the contribution of descriptive phenomenology that spurs us to account for religious experiences and, in so doing, fosters the identification of religious experiences’ essential traits. Phenomenological contributions to every kind of topic—from religion to aesthetics, from psychopathology to history—clarify the innermost essence of the experiences in question. Giving rise to phenomenological reflections means focusing on the nature of our experiences as double-sided, simultaneously subjective and intersubjective. On the one hand, our experiences are marked by traits that proceed solely from the subject of the experience itself; on the other hand, our experiences are marked by traits that also characterize other subjects’ kindred experiences. This means that every single experience is neither solipsistic nor completely sharable. Phenomenological analyses come to grips with these two sides of the coin and, in so doing, clarify obfuscated features of the kind of experience at issue.

Click here to read the chapter (pages 287-312)

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