Through Eyes of Faith – 10-11

The next section in Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith addresses sensation and perception. Chapter 10 deals with the question of whether science demystifies religious experience and faith. Here’s a nice quote:

The more scientists learn about sensation, the more convinced they are taht what is truly extraordinary is not extrasensory perception, claims for which inevitably dissolve upon investigation, but rather our very ordinary moment-to-moment sensory experience of organizing formless neural impulses into colorful sights and meaningful sounds. [p. 55]

Chapter 11 helps the reader distinguish between subjectivists who see perception as “arbitrary mental constructions” and objectivists (naive realists) who believe that “our experience mirrors reality” [pp. 60-61]. Here they discuss the concept of schemas and conclude with an observation about religious experience: “To have a religious experience is thus to assign to sensory experience spiritual significance. It is to interpret phenomena with an awareness of the presence of God” [p. 63].

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