Spirituality and the hermeneutics of faith
The first part of this essay argues that religious experience should not be viewed as an extraordinary kind of extra-sensory perception (visions, ecstasies etc) but as ‘hermeneutical’ in the sense that it entails an interpretation of our ordinary experience (including ordinary senseperception) or sometimes of particularly impressive experiences of the world and of our lives in the light of faith. The heritage of faith in a religious tradition provides believers with a framework of understanding in terms of which they can look on things with the eyes of faith. Various key features of this kind of interpretation are explained. The second part of the essay shows how various forms of spirituality are ways in which believers are trained in looking on life and the world with the eyes of faith and explains what this entails for the life of faith.