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The Introduction identifies some important questions about religious experience, and it considers Tolstoy's position that relates religious experience to the meaning of human life. It also comments on the relation between religious experience and evidence for God's existence and on the bearing of science on religious experience. In addition, it looks at the bearing of religious disagreement on religious experience. Finally, the Introduction offers summaries of the book's chapters.
For centuries, theologians and philosophers, among others, have examined the nature of religious experience. Students and scholars unfamiliar with the vast literature face a daunting task in grasping the main issues surrounding the topic of religious experience. The Cambridge Companion to Religious Experience offers an original introduction to its topic. Going beyond an introduction, it is a state-of-the-art overview of the topic, with critical analyses of and creative insights into its subject. Religious experience is discussed from various interdisciplinary perspectives, from religious perspectives inside and outside traditional monotheistic religions, and from various topical perspectives. Written by leading scholars in clear and accessible prose, this book is an ideal resource for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and scholars across many disciplines.