The Philosophy of Religious Experience and the Nag Hammadi Texts
A Response to Kaler and Tite
Keywords:Nag Hammadi, religious experience, mysticism
This essay, in response to Michael Kaler and Philip Tite, examines several theoretical issues about mystical experience in the Nag Hammadi texts. First is the problem of whether experiences can be an object of study at all, and I argue that they can, so long as we attend to the causes of the experiences. Attending to the causes of experiences, however, means that neo-perennialists must articulate and defend an account of the cause(s) of the cross-culturally universal experiences that they suppose occur. As for the attempt to apply contemporary psychologists' attachment theory to the experiential knowledge described in the Nag Hammadi texts, questions remain about the relation between attachment to the divine figure purportedly experienced and the experiencer's attachment to his or her religious community.
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