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Visions

  • Date Submitted: 12/15/2013 04:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.4 
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A religious vision is considered something seen or heard by an individual which they believe to be of the supernatural. Ninian Smart described visions as “Some kind of perception of the invisible world or a perception that some visible person or thing is a manifestation of the invisible world” which is to suggest that visions are down to the interpretation of what one considers out of the real/visible world. For example, they may consist of the appearance of religious figures, seeing the future or being given a message.
These examples may fall into any one of the three main types of vision. The first being intellectual visions in which the individual receives knowledge of a concept or a message (e.g. a revelation from God) through either   ideas that are already known to them but then interpreted by what they believe to be God or through ideas presented to them in the vision. Intellectual visions may additionally feature a persistent light, sense of inner peace or a feeling of being called towards a religious way of life as opposed to the appearance of a figure. Saul, for example, experienced an intellectual vision during his journey to Damascus when “He beheld the blinding light with his eyes; he saw with his imagination the personal traits of Ananias; and his mind understood the will of God” (Acts 9:3-12) prompting him to convert to Christianity. Corporeal visions, on the other hand, do entail the appearance of a figure external to the individual e.g. St Bernadette who in the 19th century had visions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes when she told Bernadette that the spring water had healing powers and a chapel should therefore be built on the site. The final type of vision is the imaginative type wherein they individual imaginatively (i.e. with their mind’s eye) sees something that strengthens their faith or brings with it a feeling of holiness. They cannot see the figure itself but are aware of its presence as perceived by the imagination, either during sleep or...

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