God or Ultimate Reality in Theory and Practice: A Philosophical Analysis

  • Anne L. C. RunehovEmail author
Part of the Studies in Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality book series (SNCS, volume 2)


The present chapter explores how human experiences, including experiences of God or Ultimate Reality should be understood in relation to reality. It is suggested that experiencing is the sine qua non of human existence. It is argued that human beings cannot not experience. Experiences are real in the sense that they have causal effects on the brain, and the cultural-religious-personal environment in which human beings are embedded. Also a distinction is made between concepts, conceptions and conceiving. In order to answer the question how human experiences can be justified, two principles or criteria are adapted (1) The experience should have de facto evidence and (2) it should have effective evidence. In order to answer the question how such experiences should be understood during the course of interdisciplinary research, four main types of naturalism are analyzed, ontological, methodological, epistemological naturalism and supernaturalism. The result of the analyses suggests that a minimalist coherent ontological naturalism or an extended or flexible interferential ontological naturalism should be adapted. Finally, the problem of the gap between descriptive and normative claims is considered.


Natural World Natural Order Religious Experience Normative Claim Ultimate Reality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The present has been made possible with the supported by the Copenhagen University Star Research Program “Naturalism and Christian Semantics” at the Copenhagen University.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systematic TheologyCopenhagen UniversityRegensburgGermany

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