a1 Department of Religion, Temple University, Pennsylvania
The linguistic expression of religious experience is problematic for both the experiencer and the philospher. For instance: is the religious experience nonverbal, i.e. does it utterly transcend all words, concepts, and thought? Or is it ineffable – not amenable to verbal expression? In either case, what can one make of all the talk and writings of those who do report religious experiences? The frequent references to ineffability, transcendence of thought and the like, lead one to wonder if the experiencers themselves are not dis-satisfied with these expressions. If this is indeed the case, what is it about these expressions that produces this dissatisfaction? Are some expressions better suited to the experience than others?