Examine Both the Main Characteristics of Both Visions and Conversion Experiences

788 WordsMar 24, 20144 Pages
Examine the main characteristics of both visions and conversion experiences [30 marks] Visions and conversions are both a type of religious experience- it’s a subjective experience where an individual reports contact with a supernatural reality, an encounter or union with the divine, Religious experiences are preoccupied by extraordinary psychological state and no one can give real evidence about it. According to William James, a 20th century philosopher; every religious experience has four characteristics. Ineffability, meaning that these experiences can’t be expressed or it is challenging to express them; people often gain an insight or they learn something from the experience of how to carry on with their life. Transiency,…show more content…
An intellectual vision causes the person to become aware of an abstract concept such as the ‘grace of God’- a numinous experience. These are often followed by a sense of inner peace or a call toward religious life. A conversion experience is one in which the ‘goal’ is to change one set of beliefs. This process is called a double action; this is because one must turn away from a previous lifestyle and turn to a new state of being. The development of conversion can be a sudden experience or a gradual one and the end result is usually a greater understanding of faith. People may convert for several reasons; It may be about years of searching for a spiritual home, or about a moment of inspiration that has caught them by surprise; sometimes it involves the pain of breaking away from a previous path, a sense of loneliness and wrestling with doubt. Some may say that a conversion takes place when one’s identity is perceived to be inadequate and so they move to being in a state when adequacy is met, and the knew life they start is a holy one. There are four main stages identified which can lead to a conversion experience; a prior interest in religious questions and other related issues, the influence of other cases of conversion, a situation which may involve physical and emotional upset, and the moment of conversion which brings about a radical change in feeling and outlook of the persons life. There

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