The Epistemology of Religious Experience

The Epistemology of Religious Experience

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Keith E. Yandell
Cambridge University Press, 5/13/1993
EAN 9780521374262, ISBN10: 052137426X

Hardcover, 381 pages, 23.7 x 15.9 x 2.5 cm
Language: English

This book addresses fundamental questions in the philosophy of religion. Can religious experience provide evidence for religious belief? If so, how? Keith Yandell argues against the notion that religious experience is ineffable, while advocating the view that strong numinous experience provides some evidence that God exists. He contends that social science and other non-religious explanations of religious belief and experience do not cancel out the evidential force of religious experience. The core of Yandell's argument concerns the formulation and application of an appropriate principle of experimental evidence. A final chapter considers the relevance of nonexperimental, conceptual issues. An attractive feature of the book is that it does not confine its attention to any one religious cultural tradition, but tracks the nature of religious experience across different traditions in both the East and the West.

is our task impossible or impolite?
Part I. The Experimental Data
1. Religious experience, 'East' and 'West'
Some basic epistemological concepts
Part II. The Challenge from Ineffability
3. The outlines of ineffability
ineffability relative to particular languages
5. Reasons in ineffability's favour
Part III. The Social Science Challenge
6. Nonepistemic explanation of belief
7. Non-religious explanation of religious belief
Part IV. The Religious Challenge
8. Self-authentication and verification
9. Religious practices and experimential confirmation
Part V. The Argument from Religious Experience
10. The argument in twentieth-century philosophy
11. The principle of experimential evidence
12. The argument triumphant
Part VI. Enlightenment and Conceptual Experience
13. Are enlightenment experiences evidence for religious beliefs? 14. Conceptual experience and religious belief.