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Religion, Experience and Privacy

  • Stewart R. Sutherland (a1)


It is of course true that the articulation of religious and theological views depends upon and often masks philosophical presuppositions. For example, those who quote with approval Anselm's ‘credo ut intelligam’, ‘I believe so that I may understand’, seldom follow the good example set by Anselm, and make explicit, as Anselm does in the following sentence, the fact that this principle rests upon a further principle: ‘For I believe this also, that “unless I believe, I shall not understand”’ (Proslogion, I). This paper is an attempt to track down and expose one very pervasive set of views about the nature of experience which is implicit in a wide range of religious and theological claims.



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page 122 note 1 London: Collins, 1976.

page 123 note 1 See Katz, S. (ed.), Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (London: Sheldon Press, 1978).

page 124 note 1 Malevey, L., The Christian Message and Myth (London: S.C.M. 1958), p. 186.

page 124 note 2 See Bultmann, R., Existence and Faith (Collins Fontana, 1964), p. 108.

page 125 note 1 See ‘Bultmann Replies to His Critics’, in Bartsch, H. W. (ed.), Kerygma and Myth, I (London: S.P.C.K. 1964), p. 200.

page 126 note 1 Huxley, A., The Perennial Philosophy (London: Chatto and Windus, 1946), p. 29.

page 127 note 1 Stace, W. T., Mysticism and Philosophy (London: Macmillan, 1961), p. 31.

page 129 note 1 Lewis, H. D., Jesus in the Faith of Christians (London: Macmillan, 1981), p. 18.

page 130 note 1 Bultmann, R., ‘New Testament and Mythology’, in Bartsch, (ed.), Kerygma and Myth (see pp. 21–2).

page 131 note 1 Wittgenstein, L., Philosophical Investigations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1958).


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