The Feeling of Religious Longing and Passionate Rationality

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Abstract
What is the feeling of religious longing and how, if at all, can religious longing justify religious beliefs? Starting with an analogy between religious longing and basic physical needs and an analogy between religious longing and musical longing, I argue that the feeling of religious longing is characterized by four features: its generality, its indeterminate transcendent object which by its nature is not capable of empirical verification or falsification, its mode of being infinitely interested in passion and its ambiguity with regard to our own power and powerlessness. Religious longing can neither epistemically nor pragmatically justify religious beliefs. If we want to account for the rationality of religious beliefs motivated by religious longing, we have to consider passionate rationality as a third kind of rationality. We wholeheartedly take as true what we experience as a condition of the possibility of life.
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Archival date: 2018-03-14
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