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Tom 19 Nr 2 (2011)

Psychologia i filozofia

Doświadczenie tremendum i fascinans w ujęciu psychologii poznawczej

DOI:  [Google Scholar]
Opublikowane: 19.03.2020


The article attempts to capture basic components of the religious experience within the categories of contemporary cognitive psychology. Based on the outstanding theologist and scholar of comparative religion Rudolf Otto’s (1869– 1937) concept of mysterium tremendum and mysterium fascinans it has been assumed that those experiences being in a contrast-harmony relation to each other can be considered as components of religious experience. Applying categories from contemporary cognitive psychology the author tried to demonstrate that religious experience does not have to be dominated by experiences of an emotional nature, because it remains in a close relationship with the process of the perception of God’s existence and actions and with all that belongs to the sphere of Sacrum. Nonetheless the cognitive representation of God, understood as a mirror image of trascendental reality, has to be considered only as an extraordinary complex structure having a profound impact on human behaviours. It is assumed that this structure reflects mainly the experience of God in the context of the relation of contrast-harmony, of which Otto wrote. After presenting the concept of cognitive schemata in psychology with its functions and a three way sort of knowledge that it represents, the article reflects on the concept of cognitive representation of God. Connections are made with the main thesis of Otto’s concept, especially with his idea of polarization of the representation of religious experience. The last part of the article concentrates on the regulating role of the experience of tremendum and fascinans in relation to human behaviour of religious nature.


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