The Varieties of Mystical Experience: Paul Tillich and William James

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. David H. Nikkel, Professor of Religion & Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: Paul Tillich and William James both offer rich resources for thinking about mysticism, religious faith, the nature of the object of religious faith, and the ultimate meaningfulness of life. While there are interesting similarities in their efforts, because of differing epistemologies of religious experience they come to contrasting and/or complementary conclusions. This fundamental epistemological difference is that Tillich affirms a mystical a priori embedded in all experience, while James in pragmatist, empirical fashion maintains that mystical experiences are particular experiences that happen to a minority of people. While the primary purpose of this article is to expound/amplify and compare the respective positions of the two thinkers, it will conclude with brief evaluative remarks

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
Tillich, Paul, James, William, Mystical Experience, Mysticism, Religious Faith, Epistemology

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