Focus Group 'Notions'

The focus group 'notions' is attended to the examination of the concepts and of rhetorics, semantics and pragmatics of religious language. Its point of departure is from the empiric material, i.e. the prevailing object-language. This work of the academic year 2015-2016 will concentrate on the examination of the object-language descriptions of experiences which are mediated by the senses, and to which religious relevance (sense) is ascribed. Additionally, the possibility of scientific meta-language, i.e. the concepts and notions used to analyze the processes of sense-making of sensuous experiences in a comparative perspective, shall be discussed.

The group's methodical approach combines three perspectives:

  1. a phenomenological (empirical) one describing object-language conceptualization of religious sense attributed to sensuous experiences,
  2. an historical one aiming at a conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte) of the notions used to express sensuous religious experience,
  3. and a systematic one preparing a scientific meta-language for religious sensuous experiences.

To that purpose, examination of religious language emerging from religious contacts plays a decisive part. This means that especially processes of translation and self-confirmation on object-language-level will be described and analyzed.

The guiding research question therefore is, how religious sense attributed to sensual experience is communicated within different religious traditions, i.e. how religious traditions conceptually make sense of the senses.