Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Mystical and Religious Experience

  • Catharina StenqvistEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_200139

This kind of experience can be classified in various ways. When any experience includes sense-perceptual or introspective content, it is classified as an extrovertive experience. When not extrovertive, the experience is introvertive. An experience of “nothingness” or “emptiness,” in some mystical traditions, and an experience of God resulting from a disengagement from sense experience, would be an example of introvertive experiences. One might also make a distinction between theistic and nontheistic experiences. Theistic experiences are purportedly of God while nontheistic experiences can be of an ultimate reality other than God or of no reality at all. There is also a rich family of experiences of union with God. “Union” involves a falling away of the separation between a person and God, short of identity.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund UniversityLundSweden