Original Research

Faith, language and experience: An analysis of the feeling of absolute dependence

E. Mouton
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 46, No 3 | a2322 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v46i3.2322 | © 1990 E. Mouton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 1990 | Published: 09 January 1990

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E. Mouton, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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Abstract

This article deals with the essence of religion proposed by Schleiermacher, namely ‘the feeling of absolute dependence upon the Infinite’. In his theory of religious experience, and the language he used to express it, he claimed his work to be independent of concepts and beliefs. Epistemologically this is incompatible. In our century, where Christianity needs to be reinterpreted in the light of modern science, Schleiermacher has left us with a hermeneutical challenge to communicate the dynamic experience of a relationship with God in an intelligible way. The author argues that systematic theology’s obligation to rationality must at least include a dialectic interplay of interpretative schemes, events and experience.

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