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Re-Visiting the Implications of Contemporary Epistemological Models for the Understanding of Religious Experience: an Overview

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The more recently proposed epistemological models (cf Gregersen & Van Huyssteen, eds., Rethinking Theology and Science: Six Models for the Current Dialogue) within the context of the science and religion debate, have opened up galaxie,s of meanirzg on the interface of the debates which are inviting for exploralive, theological travelling. But how are we epistemologically to judge not only oui journets but also the rethinking of the implications of these epistemological models for our understanding of religious experience and our experience of transcendence? The interdisciplinary space that has been opened up in an exciting post-foundational manner zuithirz these very debates, leaves us as rational persons, embedded in a very specific social and historical context, with the haunting cognitive pluralist question on how to reach beyond the limits of our own epistemic traditions (Wentzel van Huyssteen). This question is pursued as an effort on the one hand to unmask epistemic arrogance and, on the other hand, not to take refuge in the insular comfort of internally closed language-systems. It is an effort to address relativism and a 'twentieth-century despair of any knozuledye of reality' (Polkinghorne). It is finally an effort to conceptually revisit the implications of tltese models for our understanding of our culturally embedded religious experience.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Systematic Theology and Theological Ethics University of South Africa P O. Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa


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