About Mystical Experiences

I’ll add more comments here later, but for now want to be on record with a few comments:

*Lots of people have ecstatic religious experiences. These are not at all rare phenomena; the only rare thing is for mainline Protestants – especially academics – to talk openly about them.

*I don’t believe for a second that these experiences are evidence of virtue or piety or favor. I know lots of saintly people who do not have them and lots of not-so-saintly people (myself included) who do. Teresa of Avila suggested that they sometimes happen because God is offering extra help in particularly desperate cases. In that sense, the experiences can be signs not of virtue or special ability but of dis-ability. That’s true in my case.

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