Original Research - Special Collection: The Reformation, Transformation and Change Agency

Religious experience in the current theological discussion and in the church pew

David Biernot, Christoffel Lombaard
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4347 | © 2017 David Biernot, Christoffel Lombaard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2016 | Published: 11 September 2017

About the author(s)

David Biernot, The Hussite Theological Faculty, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa,, South Africa
Christoffel Lombaard, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa,, South Africa


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Abstract

Taking a new look at the language of ‘religious experience’, the authors in this contribution take into review this aspect in the current theological discussion, and in the church pew, asking the question: Does George Lindbeck’s criticism of the experiential-expressive model of religion still have something to say to us? Firstly, Lindbeck is reviewed and recouped. Then, religious experience and its commodification are discussed, at the hand also of the heritage from Schleiermacher onwards on experience. Taking a position within the post-modern, relativist, critical realist and pragmatist possibilities, a community-embedded sense of truth is concluded to without sacrificing the possibility of universalising claims. Is it possible, though, within the cultural reflex towards psychologised faith to retain a historically oriented depth?

Keywords

Religious experience; George Lindbeck; foundationalism; Schleiermacher; experiential-expressive model of faith

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