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On the Experiential Spirituality of the Prophets

Cheol-Woo Park 1

1나사렛대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

We in the 21st century live in a post-modern society, where spiritual and psychological emptiness, social alienation, loneliness, and anxiety are not felt less deeply than at any other time. I tried to bring into relief the theological legacy of the prophets for us to learn and keep for future generations. The prophets were those who were recognized as special people in their society because of their special spiritual experiences and activities. They acted in accordance with the divine mission to proclaim the words of God to their people, who presumed that their prophetic words were to be fulfilled, and who could not but react in some way, either positively or negatively. This is because of their spiritual experiences which can be found, first of all, in the experiences of their prophetic call, which is the root of their authority and activity. In the present article, I tried to examine the particularities of their spiritual experiences, especially their revelatory experiences, by critically assessing the discussions of major biblical scholars on this issue (esp. Sigmund Mowinckel, Walther Eichrodt, Max Weber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, J. Lindblom, H. H. Rowley, C. F. Whitley, André Neher, John F. A. Sawyer, J. Blenkinsopp, R. R. Wilson, Rodney Hutton, et al.). The value of the prophets’ spiritual experiences themselves does not exceed the truth contained in their words. However, the importance of their spiritual experiences is not to be underestimated, because they are God's special work in relationship to them. The spiritual experiences, their experiential spirituality, and the Spirit's work 'in' and 'through' the words, together with their moral teachings, are what we have to learn, cherish, and pass down to future generations as our biblical legacy.

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