Get access

The Dialogue of Religious Experience: Theory and Practice



For several decades the official teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church has consistently invoked the notion of religious experience as a category for interrelgious dialogue. Moreover, the Church has appealed to the so-called dialogue of religious experience as a means of encouraging its members to constructively engage with persons who are committed to ‘other’ religious traditions. This essay seeks to develop a systematic understanding of religious experience as well as the dialogue associated with it. Subsequent to summarizing the recent magisterial teaching on the dialogue of religious experience, the essay continues by probing the meaning of religious experience as such, particularly with the assistance of the theological insights of Bernard Lonergan and Louis Roy. The essay concludes by acknowledging some of the limitations that persist in connection with the dialogue of religious experience, namely, those that inevitably arise when considering the particularity of the incarnation and the necessity of the Church for salvation.