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Chapter 11 - Bergson’s Philosophy of Religion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 November 2019

Alexandre Lefebvre
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Nils F. Schott
Affiliation:
Collège universitaire de SciencesPo
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Summary

Summarizing the results of Bergson’s inquiry into the realities generally referred to under the heading “religion,” the chapter identifies what Bergson calls the “specifically religious element” as love (the mystics’ word for the élan vital) in action. To account for its possibility, the chapter turns to Bergson’s use of the term “conversion,” which he consistently employs to describe qualitative change, and articulates the mystic experience as a conversion that aims at a creative transformation of humanity. The very terms in which Bergson couches this conversion call up and shed new light on major themes of Bergson’s philosophy, including liberty, the élan vital, and philosophical intuition. The conclusion of the essay addresses Bergson’s problematic “conversion” to Catholicism as an instance of love in action.

Type
Chapter
Information
Interpreting Bergson
Critical Essays
, pp. 193 - 210
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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