July 11-14, 2017, International Human Science Research Conference, Jelenia Gora, Poland
Panel PHENOMENOLOGY OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE AND COLLECTIVE INTENTIONALITY, with Jana Trajtelova, Martin Nitsche, Vit Pokorny, and Javier Carreno
Despite consistent and progressive secularization of both industrial cultures and globalized communities, the recent political events, such as e.g. elections in the United States or Jihadi movements in the Middle East, demonstrate that religious lifeworlds continue deeply influencing the constitution of collective intentionality. As shown by Roof (2001) , Yaran (2004) and others, present day religiosities are experience-oriented. At the same time, existential status and phenomenological ontology of religious experience remain insufficiently clarified. Necessity and choice in constitution of religious experiencing, its relationship with other forms of experience, regard for intersubjectivity and environment, social and anthropological implications of religious experience, constitutive aspects of religiosity in business setting, and conscious choices in creation of meaning will be the subject matter of this panel, in which phenomenological philosophers and human scientists come together to discuss their findings regarding the phenomenology of religious experience and its role in constitution of Lebenswelt.
Talk Embodiment as Necessity and Interpretation as Choice in Religious vs. Corporate Experiencing
Religious experience may have its essences situated within phenomenological materiality of self-awareness and subjectivity as embodied (Louchakova-Schwartz, 2017, to appear; Canullo, 2017, to appear; Henry 2014; Cf. Taipale 2014). Extending Schutz’s notion of consociates towards the analysis of experience-based communities of worship, such as Eastern Orthodox, Islamic, or shamanic and New Age groups, one finds shared and resonant structures of phenomenological materiality constitutive of intersubjective social typification, shared idea-sets, and empathic social healing strategies in these communities (Cf. Cushman 1994). Phenomenological research of successful community-building strategies in corporate settings (e.g. Hult International Business School) uncovers the same constitutive structures. This indicates to generalizable phenomenological structures of embodiment involved in shaping of supportive group environments regardless of interpretive contexts in each setting. The structures of phenomenological materiality account for the necessity, i.e. conditions of possibility, for shared group experiences, while ideation constitutes a stratum of choice in which one and the same prereflective experience can be religious in one setting, and corporate – in the other. Even though religiosity is generally associated with inwardness, and corporate experience – with performance, in both cases intentionality includes the elements of psychological ego-transcendence, inward in case of religious, and outward- in case of corporate experiencing.
4.29.2017, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley
Religious Experience and Human Development: The Phenomenology of “Spiritual Awakenings” in Pastoral Counseling
Phenomenology is a way to understand, and value, human experience. St. John of the Ladder, St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St, John of the Cross, Marguerite Porete, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, the Fathers of Philokalia, and the saints of India and Islam all valued religious experience and were phenomenologists in the best sense of this word. They left us descriptions of phenomenological maps in which human development is connected to maturation of religious experiencing. In this lecture, we will focus on how one can relate these maps to personal growth, through the dimension of inner life known as “spiritual awakening”. Sudden or graduate, “spiritual awakening” profoundly and positively transform one’s personality, relationship, and life in general. Religious experience in spiritual awakening is not only embodied, but intimately connected with spiritual and physical health. Drawing on more than twenty years of clinical research and pastoral counseling, I will describe the process of spiritual awakening and transformation in our contemporaries, and explain how we can use this knowledge for spiritual direction, enhancement of one’s intelligence and quality of life, and in matters such as the extreme and chronic stress of immigration. We will also discuss phenomenological research of experience, its connections with science, and the newly founded Society for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience working under the auspices of the Jesuit School of Theology and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute.
4. 4. 2017, Dept of Public Health Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine
Phenomenology of the Body in the Experience of Immigration.
3. 17. 2017, Dept of Philosophy, University of Trnava
Cognitive Phenomenology, Textuality, and Christian Introspectionism
1.7.2017. Hult International Business School Research Summit, Ashridge, UK.
Material Phenomenology of Subjectivity and Corporate Social Responsibility
11.4.2016. PAOI-GTU Conference for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience
Qualia of God: a Post-Henry Approach to Religious Experience
For the video-recording of the talk, click here
11.26.2016 Berkeley Center for Social Ontology
Religious Experience and the Intentionality of Consciousness in Husserl and Henry
In recent debates on the philosophy of religion, it has been suggested that religious experience must be viewed as a set of ideas constructed by texts (Penner, Gimello, Flood) and social practices (Geertz and Jensen). A more radical perspective in analytic philosophy (Zangwill) echoes the Kantian argument that since God is not an object, religious experience doesn’t exist or is simply a phenomenon of language (Ciolkozs). Such accounts dismiss phenomenality of religious experience, and with it, the possibilities of knowledge without an object (cf. self-affection in Henry) or of non-intentional knowledge (cf. in Henry, Vedanta or Islamic Illuminationism; cf. critique of the modes of knowledge in Marcel). Even if religious experience is linked to specific conditions of possibility (Steinbock) or self-masking intensity (Marion), its givenness remains problematic (cf. opposite perspectives in Husserl and Ales Bello). I submit that while phenomenology can clarify this form of experience, it remains limited by its focus on the primacy of phenomenologically reduced consciousness, as opposed to other possibilities in the phenomenal field.
According to Henry, the phenomenological origins of religious thought, time and even “pure seeing” should be sought after in the horizon of phenomenological materiality-sentience-meaning, and not in a classical phenomenological horizon of pure meaning. Following Henry’s account and my own findings, I show that the central datum of religious experience abides in embodied, introspective, phenomenologically material subjectivity. As I will show from the examples of the early Christian religious concept of the Ladder and Illuminationist concept of nur mujarrad (“light made bare”, Arabic), this approach gives religious experience back its phenomenality, i.e. qualia (in terms used by the analytic philosophy). Further, such approach enables the search for diachronically and synchronically stable phenomenological structures pertaining exclusively to the genus of experience as religious experience.
Handout click here