Experiential dimension summary

Experientialdimension summary

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RudolfOtto wasone of themostinfluentialphilosophersof thetwentieth century.His philosophyis inclinedto thestudyof religiousknowledge.Hemadea contributionto developingtheideaof numinous experience.Theexperienceisacceptedas thebasisof anyreligion.Otto developedthemysticismthoughtthatanalyzes thevariousapproachesthat explainpeople`sfaith.His theologicalperspectivejuxtaposedthedifferentmysticpracticesin thevariousreligionsin theworld(Ninian,1999). Theseare thereligionsof theeast andthewest.

Numinousexperience

Numinousexperienceis a feelingof holinessthat accompaniesa particularreligion.Numinous comesfrom thewordnumen that refersto a spiritthat createsawewithin a humanbeing.Anuminous feelingis thesenseof feartowards a cosmicbeingdue thegreatnessof his orher ability(Ninian,1999). Theexperiencecreatesa feelingof thrillanddreadtowards thecosmicbeing.Agoodexampleof thiskindof fearis like theexperiencedby a personwalkingalong verysteepescarpment.Thepersoncannot imaginetrippingandgodown thecliff.There is a lotof fearin thisexperience.In thesameway,everyreligionis foundedon thenuminous experience.Panenhenicexperience

Panenhenicexperienceis a feelingof oneness.Itis as a resultof a naturalstimulation that is not under thecontrolof a humanbeing.Theexperienceinvolvesa senseof beingconnectedto naturethat surroundssomebodybased on therealityof theworld(Ninian, 1999).Monisticexperience

Monisticexperienceis a feelingthat comesfrom within an individualthat isolatestheperson`ssoulfrom allothercomponents.Thefeelingleadsto thebeliefin an impersonalobjectthrough a deliberatemove.Agodexampleis thelongpracticedBuddhism in which tributesgetpaidto an impersonalobject.Negativetheology

Negativeandpositivetheologyrunsin parallellines.Itis thekindof faiththat providesinformationthat isnot providedforby anyothertheology.Theinformationincludesaspectsof God that are mostfeared. Itisinclinedto thebeliefthatGod cannot be approachedas a humanbeingbecausehis abilityandwisdomare farmuchbeyond thatof people(Ninian, 1999). Forexample,whenwesaythatGod is infiniteoromniscient,peoplecannot understandthiswith their limitedwisdom.

Differencebetween numinous andmystical experience

Thetwo experiencesrunon differentpaths.Numinous experiencedrawsits feelingfrom an externalsourcethat is beyond humancontrol.On theotherhand,mystical experiencefindsgroundon feelingsandexperiencesthat are within thecontrolof humanbeings(Ninian, 1999). In thiskindof experience,peoplecan takethemselves to theheightsof holinessthat theydesire.

Anotherdifferencein thetwo experiencesis theviewof humanliberation.Numinous experiencesplacethesalvationof peoplesatthemercyof a cosmicbeing.Peoplecannot doanything to liberatethemselves. On thecontrary,mystical experiencestatesthatpeoplecan freethemselves (Ninian, 1999). Agoodexampleis theyogic practicein which individualstakethemselves to an inspiringpositionthrough personalefforts.

Numinousexperiencegivesa lotof valueto thebeliefin God as thesourceof their salvationandliberation.Mystical experienceisnot foundedon thebeliefof God forthesalvationof humanbeings.Peopleunder thisexperienceare not under thecontrolof God (Ninian, 1999).

Inconclusion,Otto has playeda verysignificantrolein comparingdifferentreligiouspracticesandbringingtheir differencesandsimilarities.Hehas helpedto developthethoughtof mysticexperiencesbased on differentreligions,as wellas traditions.

References

Ninian,S. (1999). Worldviews:Cross cultural Explorations of Human Beliefs (3rd Edition).Pearson:New York.

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