Renewing the Senses: A Study of the Philosophy and Theology of the Spiritual Life

Hardcover | February 24, 2013

byMark R. Wynn

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In The Republic, Plato suggests that the enlightened person will find himself disoriented on his return to the realm of the shadows. So at the very beginning of the Western philosophical tradition, there is a clear affirmation of the idea that following enlightenment, the sensory world can bedifferently experienced. In this book, Mark R. Wynn takes up this idea, but argues that 'enlightenment' or spiritual maturity may result in, and may partly consist in, not so much a state of confusion or bewilderment in our experience of sensory things, but in a renewal of the realm of the senses. On this view, the 'shadows', as they feature in the seer's experience, can bear the imprint of religious thoughts and attitudes, and it is therefore possible to be occupied with religious thoughts even as we engage with the realm of sensory things. And if that is so, then one standard objection toChristian, and in general broadly Platonic, conceptions of the spiritual life will have been removed: attending to the realm of religious ideas need not after all imply any neglect of the world of sensory forms; and it may even be that it is in our encounter with the realm of sensory forms thatcertain religious insights are presented to us most vividly.

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In The Republic, Plato suggests that the enlightened person will find himself disoriented on his return to the realm of the shadows. So at the very beginning of the Western philosophical tradition, there is a clear affirmation of the idea that following enlightenment, the sensory world can bedifferently experienced. In this book, Mark ...

Mark R. Wynn is Professor of Philosophy and Religion with the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:February 24, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199669988

ISBN - 13:9780199669981

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The world of sunlight and the world of shadows2. Emotional feelings and the appearance of the sensory world3. Concept application and the appearance of the sensory world4. The spiritual life and the justification of religious belief5. World-directed spiritual experience and the revelation of value6. Doctrine, darkness and the spiritual life7. The human form of life and the experience of value