Edited By Jacek Grzybowski
Rev. Sławomir Szczyrba: A subjective interpretation of religious experience in the proposal of Martin Buber
A subjective interpretation of religious experience in the proposal of Martin Buber Rev. Sławomir Szczyrba Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw (CSWU) The Faculty of Christian Philosophy Introduction The main problem of religious experience has to do with the issue of God, of whether God can be experienced directly, i.e. non-discursively, not through rea- soning relying on causal connections within whose framework we can – as metaphysicians associated with the existential philosophy of being would have us believe – affirm the existence of an Absolute Being and formulate some kind of understanding of its nature. Such an interpretation maintains a certain neutrality vis-a-vis the metaphysi- cal position. It does not depreciate that position as to its epistemic value, nor does it overvalue it because of its epistemic exclusiveness. And yet we cannot fail to notice that this interpretation involves a certain serious assumption, namely that God is (despite everything) an object of human experience, that he is simply one of the many things this experience may make its object. Experience is always composed of two parts. We perceive something, while at the same time the perceiving subject, through reflection, is conscious of the fact that the object he is observing, exists. What is more, he is conscious that it is not observation that determines whether that thing exists, and that that some- thing, by its existence, precedes observation or even renders it possible.1 Experi- ence always deals with something that has “some kind of being”, and hence pre- supposes the existence...
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