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5 - Devotional Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 March 2024

Christina M. Gschwandtner
Affiliation:
Fordham University, New York
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Summary

This chapter analyzes devotional experience, especially as it is displayed in contemporary evangelical approaches. Devotion is examined not as a singular practice but as a way of living out religion in daily life, within regular social, economic, and political structures without radical withdrawal from them. Devotional experience is marked by a deeply personal affective experience of a loving God who is seen to accept even the most evil and wretched person. This serves as a horizon of friendship that enables the devotional self to confront its faults and shortcomings. Devotional experience is marked by its intensely emotional and individual forms of expression. It accompanies people in their concrete daily lives and is experienced as suffusing and transforming daily and ordinary experiences without separating oneself from the society or the world. Devotional experience thus capitalizes on the human need for loving relationship and personal guidance in daily life.

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Ways of Living Religion
Philosophical Investigations into Religious Experience
, pp. 180 - 224
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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