Acquaintance and the sublime: an alternative account of theistic sublime experience

In this paper I argue that when one has an epiphany of the form 'God is F' (e.g., 'God is wise') upon having a sublime experience one can be accurately described as being acquainted with the fact that God is F as opposed to inferring that God is F from the experience at hand. To...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International journal for philosophy of religion
Main Author: Atkinson, Thomas
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science + Business Media B. V [2017]
In: International journal for philosophy of religion
Year: 2017, Volume: 82, Issue: 2, Pages: 175-193
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Theism / The Sublime / Epiphany
Further subjects:B Acquaintance
B Religious Experience
B Theism
B Misotheism
B Sublime
B Theistic perception
B Religion
B Non-inferential perceptual belief
B Philosophy
B University of Cambridge
Online Access: Presumably Free Access
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Summary:In this paper I argue that when one has an epiphany of the form 'God is F' (e.g., 'God is wise') upon having a sublime experience one can be accurately described as being acquainted with the fact that God is F as opposed to inferring that God is F from the experience at hand. To argue for this, I will, first, outline what a sublime experience is, in general, before outlining what a theistic sublime experience is in particular. Second, I will outline two ways of understanding theistic sublime experiences. First, I will outline a model that I will call the 'inference model' which, put simply, says that when one has an epiphany of the form 'God is F', upon having a theistic sublime experience, one is drawing this conclusion via a process of 'inference-to-the-best-explanation' (Chignell and Halteman in: Costelloe (ed) The sublime: From antiquity to the present, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, p. 426). Second, I will outline an alternative model that I call the 'acquaintance model' which, put simply, says that no inferential process occurs when one has an epiphany of the form 'God is F' upon having a theistic sublime experience, but one is made directly aware of the fact that God is F. Third, and finally, I will respond to some objections to the acquaintance model.
ISSN:1572-8684
Contains:Enthalten in: International journal for philosophy of religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11153-016-9598-6