The Experience of Beauty or Love as a Religious Experience in Plato

Religions and Mysticism 51 (2):182-202 (2018)
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Abstract

The issue of the article is whether the experience of Beauty or love in Plato can be considered as some kind of religious experience. First, the article describes different views on the religious experience. Then it deals with Plato's view on beauty and love and their relationship. finally, demonstrating the divinity of Beauty in Plato, the article shows that if religious experience is an encounter of the experiencer with the divine being, or in religious term God, that manifests itself in various forms, and that encounter is accompanied by a direct conscious of the divine being, then the experience of Beauty or love in Plato can be considered as a kind of religious experience. The article merely claims that the experience of Beauty or love is an instance of religious experience, and it does not have any epistemological view on religious experience, however, any epistemological view on religious experience logically includes the experience of Beauty or love. Key words: religious experience, beauty, love, divinity, Plato

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Alireza Taheri Soudejani
University of Tehran

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