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The Past, Present, and Future of Theologies of Interreligious Dialogue$
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Terrence Merrigan and John Friday

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198792345.001.0001

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Discerning Criteria of Religious Experience in Theology of Interreligious Dialogue

Discerning Criteria of Religious Experience in Theology of Interreligious Dialogue

Insights from William James and Bernard Lonergan

Chapter:
(p.95) 6 Discerning Criteria of Religious Experience in Theology of Interreligious Dialogue
Source:
The Past, Present, and Future of Theologies of Interreligious Dialogue
Author(s):

John Friday

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198792345.003.0007

This chapter inquires into the value of the notion of “religious experience” as a category for the theology of interreligious dialogue. It does this by comparing and contrasting the understanding of this notion developed by William James and Bernard Lonergan. Both authors were optimistic about the possibilities for interreligious encounter that might emerge from the attention to experience. While James claimed that the feelings and the conduct of the saints of various religions “are almost always the same,” Lonergan proposed that religious experience, understood as an experience of being in love in an unrestricted way, finds common expression across a diversity of religious traditions. Despite their differences in approach and aims, both authors sought to assess and appropriate such experience by means of an appeal to the criteria of affectivity, individuality and commonality, and the ethical import of the experience.

Keywords:   Charles Taylor, dialogue of religious experience, interreligious dialogue, varieties of religious experience, affectivity, interiority

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