1st Edition

Mystical Experience of God A Philosophical Inquiry

By Jerome Gellman Copyright 2001

    This title was first published in 2001: Engaging contemporary discussion concerning the validity of mystical experiences of God, Jerome Gellman presents the best evidential case in favor of validity and its implications for belief in God. Gellman vigorously defends the coherence of the concept of a mystical experience of God against philosophical objections, and evaluates attempts to provide alternative explanations from sociology and neuropsychology. He then carefully examines feminist objections to male philosophers' treatments of mystical experience of God and to the traditional hierarchal concept of God. Gellman finds none of the objections decisive, and concludes that while the initial evidential case is not rationally compelling for some, it can be rationally compelling for others. Offering important new perspectives on the evidential value of experiences of God, and the concept of God more broadly, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers including those with an interest in philosophy of religion, religious studies, mysticism and epistemology.

    Contents: Introduction; The argument from perception; God’s non-dimensionality and mystical experience of God; Alternative explanations I: the alternative explanation response; Alternative explanations II: sociological and neuropsychological proposals; Gender and mystical experience of God; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.


    Jerome Gellman

    '... Gellman, who is a leading contributor to the debate over the evidential value of mystical experience, tackles a series of objections that have been raised to his defence of mystical experience as providing significant evidence for theism... Gellman's book addresses many of the issues currently central to discussion of the epistemic import of mystical experience and...touches upon several other significant matters as well. This lively new contribution to the growing literature on the epistemology of religious experience will give all of us who are interested in the ongoing debates much food for further thought.' www.arsdisputandi.org 'As one of the inaugural volumes in this new Ashgate series, this text leads the philosophical community to expect a high quality discussion in future volumes.' Religious Studies Review