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Among the CreationistsDispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Frontline$
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Jason Rosenhouse

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744633.001.0001

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On Religious Experience

On Religious Experience

(p.101) 18 On Religious Experience
Among the Creationists

Jason Rosenhouse

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author comments on the religious experiences of his fellow attendees at the “Darwin vs. Design” conference held in Knoxville, Tennessee, in March 2007. Many of his fellow skeptics and atheists are entirely dismissive of religious experiences, especially when they are used as evidence for God. While he agrees with them that such things have no apologetic value, he believes that experiences with the power to so transform a person's life are not to be dismissed lightly. It is often said that experience is the true wellspring of religion, with the churches and dogmas being secondary or even harmful. This idea was eloquently explained in 1932 by theologian Harry Emerson Fosdick. The author also considers the notion of a parallel between mystical perception and sense perception by citing the views of John Wesley. He argues that it is important to distinguish the true mystical perceptions from the false ones if we are to admit religious experience as evidence for God.

Keywords:   religious experiences, Darwin vs. Design conference, God, religion, Harry Emerson Fosdick, mystical perception, sense perception, John Wesley

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