God Comes to Her: St. Teresa of ívila, Simone Weil, and the Kantian Conception of Modern Religious Experience

Authors

  • Elvira Basevich University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Keywords:

Kant, Philosophy of Religion, The Problem of Evil

Abstract

What does god mean to have a mystical experience of god? Does it entail the ecstasy or affliction? In this essay, I present St. Teresa of ívila and Simone Weil's somatic accounts of religious experience in light of the idea of the highest good. The highest good aligns virtue with happiness to ensure that those who are good are rewarded and the evil suffer. For Teresa, she primes herself for divine visitation by cultivating a patient orientation towards the heavens and visits from god can assume a physically gratifying form, whereas Weil confronts the presence of god through the experience of affliction, that is, the extreme suffering of the innocent at the hands of others. I then offer a Kantian reflection on why the experience of affliction present a distinct challenge for the cultivation of moral agency: How can those who have experienced affliction keep intact the moral faith that goodness can (re)appear in the world in the aftermath of affliction. 

Author Biography

Elvira Basevich, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

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Published

28-04-2020

How to Cite

Basevich, E. (2020). God Comes to Her: St. Teresa of ívila, Simone Weil, and the Kantian Conception of Modern Religious Experience. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 16(1), 325–346. Retrieved from https://www.cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/801