Beyond Service lies the Experience Revised Edition

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Examples of efficient design documentation. How to include developers in different stages of design: planning features, wireframing, prototyping, mockups, and usability testing. Collaboration secrets and advice for designers. These factors should be incorporated into the overall process of recruiting and selecting police officers:. Once an agency decides what type of individual it wants as an officer, it needs to develop a recruitment plan. Many departments limit their recruiting efforts to local newspaper advertisements when positions are open. This method will usually produce a pool of applicants.

However, the type of individual sought may not respond to newspaper advertisements. It is not unusual to hear in police circles that selection criteria are extremely rigid and that only 1 or 2 out of 10 applicants will survive the entire process and be offered a position. One could also make a convincing argument that recruitment efforts are not very effective if 8 or 9 of 10 applicants cannot survive the recruiting process.

Perhaps the effort devoted to processing applicants unsuited to becoming police officers could be redirected to recruiting the right type of applicant. The point here is that the recruiting method should be carefully designed to attract the type of applicant desired. Law enforcement agencies use a variety of approaches to recruit applicants.

Some send recruiting teams to "career days" on college campuses, while others send recruiters to various cities to look for experienced police officers. Still others concentrate recruiting resources on their immediate geographic area. Many departments have made use of the local news media through feature stories, public service announcements, and Internet job postings. Some have also used business and corporate assistance to develop brochures that provide accurate information about what the department offers. An agency may need to circulate its recruitment announcements using a number of methods, such sending them to a diverse group of community leaders, setting up a table at community meetings, shopping malls, schools, colleges, and community gathering places.

A factor that has an immense impact, but is often not addressed effectively in recruiting plans is the influence of existing members of the police organization. Negative attitudes of individual officers about their job and the department may cause potential applicants to look elsewhere for employment. On the other hand, positive attitudes may exist for the wrong reasons--for example, because the department has an image as a place for "macho," TV-style cops. Therefore, it is important that the recruiting plan and its underlying rationale be shared with all employees, so they have a clear understanding of the department's objectives.

Employees can serve as excellent recruiters if they know these objectives and appreciate the critical importance of their jobs. Employees can also better discuss some of those issues often put forth as impediments to attracting high quality applicants. For example, they can speak directly to issues such as low pay and the difficulties of shift work. They are in the best position to talk about positive as well as negative aspects of a police career.

The objective of a recruiting program should be to attract a large enough pool of desirable applicants to fill department vacancies. This does not mean that the only measure of the recruiting effort should be the number of people who complete employment applications. If a department needs a higher ratio of employees from different racial and ethnic groups to reflect the community, and the only people completing applications are not from desired groups or do not meet basic requirements, then the objective is obviously not being met.

The recruiting plan must contain relevant and measurable objectives that are monitored to ensure every effort is being made to meet them. After an individual has expressed an interest in becoming a police officer, most departments begin a process that involves a series of steps designed to aid in making the selection decision. The selection process continues to receive a great deal of attention.

Arbitrary selection standards that were common in the past have been eliminated by courts and other actions. Further research should be conducted by the human resources department of a police department to establish a sound selection process. The close examination of this process has underscored its importance.

It has also helped focus attention on developing a better understanding of the police officer's job and on including steps that measure whether a candidate has the potential for meeting those requirements. Even with these improvements, a number of selection issues have continued to generate considerable controversy. Two of these, educational requirements and psychological screening, are measures believed to have potential for reducing violence between the police and community.

However, these alternatives obviously would take years to change the make-up of a department. In many departments, psychological screening and educational requirements cannot be imposed upon individuals currently employed. Educational issues have been a long-standing topic of discussion in law enforcement circles. As early as , the Wickersham Commission report noted the need for higher levels of education. These reports were followed by many other calls for similar requirements, but the reality has been that few departments have actually made any changes in entry-level educational requirements.

A report published by the Police Executive Research Forum, The American Law Enforcement Chief Executive: A Management Profile , noted: "In the Police Chief Executive Committee recommended the immediate institution of a four-year college degree for new chief executives of all agencies with 75 or more full-time employees. Nearly ten years later, almost percent of those officials still do not possess a baccalaureate degree. If it is not possible to make much progress at the top, the entry-level standards will be extremely slow to change.

It is not within the scope of this publication to set forth all of the arguments for vigorously pursuing the upgrading of entry-level requirements. Regardless, many believe that an entry-level requirement of a bachelors' degree would go a long way towards addressing a number of problems in law enforcement, including violence between police and the community.

The psychological fitness of police officers is also of major importance in addressing the violence issue. A police officer has considerable discretion in the manner in which day-to-day responsibilities are fulfilled. This discretion extends to the use of force. One method to improve the prediction of whether an individual is able to handle police responsibilities is psychological evaluation. Although many departments do not use psychological screening in the selection process, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has established the following as a mandatory standard for all agencies:.

Commentary: Law enforcement work is highly stressful and places officers in positions and situations of heavy responsibility.


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Psychiatric and psychological assessments are needed to screen out candidates who might not be able to carry out their responsibilities or endure the stress of the working conditions. The importance that the Commission on Accreditation has placed on this area by making it a mandatory standard is obvious. If an agency does not currently use this tool in the selection process, it will take a number of years for its adoption to have an effect on the organization, but it would be a positive step towards minimizing future problems.

Training can have a significant impact on all aspects of police service delivery and is of critical importance in the control of police-community violence. A Police Foundation study on the use of deadly force published in noted: "In the course of this study police chiefs and administrators were asked what steps they would consider most likely to bring about a reduction in unnecessary shootings by police officers. The most common response was to recommend a tight firearms policy coupled with an effective training program.

While one can generally agree with this response, findings in the International Association of Chiefs of Police report, A Balance of Forces , also need to be considered:. These findings clearly suggest that when it comes to training police officers, both the type of training and the approach to training police officers must be carefully examined. In examining this area, Herman Goldstein makes several pertinent observations on police entry-level training in Policing a Free Society :. In Goldstein's observations one begins to understand some of the limitations of automatically turning to training to solve all problems.

Perhaps it also suggests why some training programs may be associated with a higher rate of police justifiable homicides. Our analysis suggests a framework in which to analyze training related to police deadly force. Few training programs have attempted to conceptualize the varied and complex competencies necessary to implement a responsible deadly force policy.

Shooting simulators attempt to train police officers to quickly identify threats against them. Some crisis intervention training approaches focus almost exclusively upon the verbal skills useful in dealing with a limited range of disputes. If training is to be effective in reducing the aggregate number of police shootings, it must focus on multiple psychological dimensions, emphasizing those capacities that might influence police behavior in a wide range of armed confrontations.

Also, such training should be conducted in environments simulating the complex, and often bewildering, conditions in which deadly force episodes usually take place. From our observations, this approach to shooting training is rare in police departments. Scharf and Binder's observations indicate a need to rethink the approach to firearms training and, at the same time, reinforce Goldstein's observations almost 10 years earlier on training in general. Both observations, however, seem to suggest that the advantages to be gained from training will not be realized until programs go beyond teaching a single response to complex situations.

The focus should be on training and developing a "thinking police officer" who analyzes situations and responds in the appropriate manner based upon a value system such as this publication proposes. This is obviously a much different approach to training than has been used in law enforcement. This does not mean that many of the components of current training programs should be dropped. They need to be tied together into a decision-making framework that causes officers to make decisions in earlier stages of responding to a call or handling an incident.

This would minimize the risk of a situation evolving to a point where the use of firearms is required to protect someone's life. Mills and John G. Stratton reported findings in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin in February that "The nature of academy training and type of services actually provided are often discrepant. Seventy to 90 percent of police training is devoted to crime control, laws, and police procedures, while frequently 70 to 90 percent of subsequent job duties are devoted to interpersonal communication and interaction.

Policy is a guide to the thinking and actions of those responsible for making decisions. Its essence is discretion. And policy serves as a guide to exercising that discretion. The development of policies to guide the use of discretion by police officers is key to the effective management of police organizations.

It is also critical to the control of violence between the police and community. A primary consideration of policy development, then, is to build accountability into police operations. As stated in the opening chapter on values, the principle of police agency accountability to the citizens it serves is fundamental to the relationship. Police departments which that adopted values that uphold professionalism and integrity have consistently established policies that recognize the importance of accountability systems that build citizens' trust in police agency programs and personnel. The importance of policy development has also been underscored by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Most of the commission's standards require a written directive to provide proof of compliance with those standards. Almost all of the agencies that have been accredited, or are in the process of self-assessment, have commented on how the documentation of their policies and procedures has been improved. There are three policy areas of particular significance with respect to police violence concerns: policies dealing with firearms, citizen complaints, and public information.

Use of Force and Alternatives. The appropriate use of force and the use of the least amount of force in effecting arrests are essential values which characterize a department that respects the sanctity of life. Officers and departments that fail to train in and demonstrate the use of appropriate force, not only create the potential for heightened racial conflict, but also raise high municipal liability risks for their communities.

Officers who are skilled in conflict resolution will find ways to avoid higher levels of confrontation. Where conflict cannot be avoided, less than lethal force can be employed by law enforcement personnel in accord with changing community values. Citizen Complaints and Other Redress Systems. Even the best police department will receive complaints, and the absence of an effective complaint procedure has figured prominently in many cities troubled by allegations of excessive force. In fact, "Citizen complaints about police behavior, particularly the excessive use of force, is one part of the larger problem of relations between the police and racial and ethnic minority communities," according to Samuel Walker and Betsy Wright Kreisel.

The department's complaint procedure should be set forth in writing regardless of the size of the community or the department. The best way to ensure that police officers conduct themselves properly in the performance of their duties is to set reasonable policies and then establish effective procedures for internal review and sanctions. But, as indicated above, the system for handling citizen complaints must be one in which all citizens have confidence.

Nor can the principle be ignored that the police department is a public service agency which ultimately must be accountable to the citizens. An increasing number of cities in which citizens have lost confidence in the internal review process have tried various configurations of civilian oversight mechanisms or civilian overview boards with mixed results. A number of arguments are made both in favor of and against these mechanisms. For example, some observers hold that the police cannot objectively review themselves, that civilian review strengthens public confidence in the department, and that it ensures that police officers do not abuse the law.

This has resulted in a situation in which "the perceived failure of internal police complaint procedures has led civil rights groups to demand the creation of external, or citizen complaint review procedures," Walker and Kreisel conclude. When municipal officials attempt to establish a civilian oversight mechanism, police executives should anticipate strong resistance from rank and file officers.

In fact, even some of the most progressive police officials do not favor civilian oversight mechanisms. While they agree that there is a need for public accountability, these officials point out that oversight groups are not panaceas and have had only mixed success. They also suggest that emotions aroused by establishment of civilian oversight mechanisms may themselves lead to insurmountable problems.

Citizens who are chosen to serve can be briefed by police officials on policy, practices, and procedures and help them become more acquainted with the department's operations so that they can serve better. Those establishing civilian oversight mechanisms, regardless of type or format, must address six issues when designing a charter:.

Municipal Liability. The U. Supreme Court in Monell v. Harris U. In an article by Professors Daane and Hendricks titled "Liability for Failure to Adequately Train," they state, "Not only does a good training program increase the effectiveness and safety of police officers, it may also reduce the potential for liability of the officers, the supervisors and the agency. This potential for liability may range from cases involving use of force and deadly force, the failure to provide medical care, to those involving arrest procedure.

Public Information. An area of policy that goes hand-in-hand with police accountability and police-community relations is the law enforcement agency's approach to release of public information. Clearly, the news media serve as a major source of information about the police and their activities. As such, the media play a key role in developing citizens' views of the police. Given this important function of the media, it is difficult to understand why so many police agencies fail to develop a public information policy and a relationship with the media based on mutual respect and trust.

This is especially important in the area of police-community violence. Media coverage of incidents involving the use of force is often the only information the community has to form an opinion about the appropriateness of police action. There is a tension between informing the public about an incident and getting the facts on that incident. The department should have procedures for identifying who can make public statements, along with procedures for verifying information before it is released to the public.

Silence on certain aspects of the investigation may be viewed as stonewalling, when in fact, the department simply does not have the information. The department that explains why certain information is not yet available and makes assurances that, when it does materialize, it will be disseminated to the extent permitted by law, will be regarded as responsive to the community's concerns. In the absence of information from official sources, the news media are forced to prepare the story based on information gained only from bystanders and unofficial agency sources, an approach that may result in less than accurate reporting of the incident.

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The stage is then set for friction between the police and media. Misinformed community members may also form erroneous perceptions of the police and their actions. Police officials must provide sufficient information and detail to accurately explain an incident. At the same time, they need to be careful not to jeopardize an investigation or the department's position. This is a difficult expectation of the police, but it is not impossible to deal with both needs. The task is much less difficult with a clearly articulated public information policy. See sample public information policy in Appendix G Racial Profiling and Bias-Based Policing.

Law enforcement profiling is inappropriate when race or some other sociological factor, such as gender, sexual orientation, or religion is used as the sole criterion for taking law enforcement actions. Profiling that singles out members of the community for no reason other than their race is discriminatory and provides no legitimate basis for police action and has serious consequences. There has also been legislative proposals at the state and national level addressing racial profiling, along with lawsuits brought by civil rights organizations and the U.

Department of Justice. Racial profiling erodes the necessary trust between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve. There is also the collateral damage of police recruitment of minorities being made more difficult and minorities becoming less willing to participate in the criminal justice process. The use of objective factors indicating potential criminal activity as a basis for making traffic stops may be a legitimate and effective law enforcement tool.

However, inappropriate profiling impairs law enforcement's abilities. Furthermore, the use of race as the sole criterion for making traffic stops is legally and morally wrong. Discriminatory traffic stops divide communities and make police and prosecutors' jobs more difficult. One way to address this issue is with a defined set of department values that are the basis of the department's policies, and practices.

Law enforcement officials have to monitor and manage the discretion exercised by their officers to ensure their actions are guided by values and principles that gives preeminence to the civil rights of citizens. Racial profiling imposes on the basic freedoms granted in a democratic society. For many in the minority community, racial profiling is an old phenomenon with a new name. A common response to racial profiling is the development of policies that declare racial profiling illegal, limit officer discretion in the area of traffic stops, and mandate training in cultural diversity.

These measures are a necessary first step, but alone they cannot reduce bias in an organization. Symptoms will resurface and appear in other areas, such as walking stops, the use of force, police misconduct, minority officer recruitment, retention and promotion. Racial profiling is not the standalone problem; it is a symptom of bias-based policing. Police departments and communities can avoid debilitating accusations of racial profiling by communicating with each other about police strategy, crime trends, and community concerns. When they discover that guns are the primary instruments of murder in black neighborhoods, is it racial profiling or smart policing to target anti-gun efforts there?

Resolutions to these issues are possible, but not easy. Hate Crimes and Hate Violence. Hate crime is a crime that is based in whole or in part on the offender's animus towards the status of the victim. This perceived "status" of the victim may be based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. David N. Aspy and Cheryl Blalock Aspy write, based on research from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, that "Hate crimes occur when a hating person enters a climate that encourages the discharge of hate-driven violence on certain targets.

A defining feature of hate crime is that each offense victimizes not one person but a group. Hate crimes can exacerbate community tensions that in turn trigger community-wide racial conflict and civil disturbances. Based on its experience with hundreds of hate crimes cases, CRS recommends that police can initiate proactive measures before the fact such as taking actions to improve communication between majority and minority groups by the establishment of a human rights commission; establishing mechanisms to defuse rumors that may fuel racial tensions and conflict; utilizing the media as a helpful ally; implementing community policing and retaining police-community relations units in the transition towards community policing.

The following are best practices for police departments to prevent hate crimes from escalating racial and ethnic tensions into conflict or civil disturbances:. Today, the policing function is viewed increasingly in terms of the "contractual" relationship with the people. That is, given the high community impact of law enforcement service delivery, such services should be based on community needs, safety, concerns, and on relentless enforcement of the law against criminals, with due consideration for the safety of officers.

The contractual nature of this relationship notwithstanding, frequently neither minority community expectations of police conduct nor police expectations of support from the minority community have been met. The result, of course, has too often been violent encounters between citizens and the police. The seriousness of this situation, wherever it exists, makes it imperative that the community and police initiate steps to reduce violence.

As in all matters involving how law enforcement is conducted, the role of top police executives is key. Among a multitude of other duties, the police executive must establish personal credibility with all segments of the community. The chief must articulate law enforcement standards of conduct and make clear what behavior the chief expects of the department's officers. The community should understand what constitutes unprofessional conduct and, above all, must have a reasonable understanding of procedures for investigating and adjudicating cases of use of deadly force. To reduce the potential for violence, police executives must inculcate the values articulated by policy and procedure into two levels of the police department: the administrative level and the "line" or operational level.

To accomplish the task of value-transition on one level without doing so on the other is futile, for no change in police behavior will result. In addition to the two levels of the organization which the police executive must address, two dimensions of law enforcement must also be addressed: the police "culture" and various community cultures. Thus, to effect change in the police-community violence, police executives must take a multidimensional approach.

Traditional approaches to reform have been one-dimensional, and have met with little success. The necessity for multidimensional leadership exists for several reasons. Consider, for example, the police executive who develops the "ideal" use-of-force policy, and who develops a strong system of "internal audit" and reporting to ensure that violations are identified and addressed. This executive has created an administrative response to the violence problem.

However, he or she has not addressed the operational-level aspects that influence the use of force by law enforcement officers: training, peer-group pressure, informal leadership, initial socialization, and role of the union, if any. Nor has the executive addressed the external factors that impact use of force: the community's level of confidence in the department; prior use-of-force incidents; the existence of a healthy police-community partnership; community norms; media treatment of use of force; sanctions against use of force by local courts, prosecutors, and other official agencies; and community tolerance levels for violence.

Policy developed by the police executive that does not take into account external factors is likely to fail. The administrative functions of policy, procedure, audit, review, and sanction will most probably be offset by operational-level attitudes, beliefs, and informal social structures that tell the line officer that it's "better to face an internal affairs investigation than to have your family confronted by the undertaker. The policies, procedures, and administrative infrastructure will fail, not because they were inherently "bad," but because they were not integrated at the operational level to combat police-community violence.

The police executive who desires to affect the cycle of police-community violence must focus on at least four functions which offer the potential of creating change. All four of these functions are amenable to change through effective police leadership, and all four combine to aid the chief executive in developing a multidimensional approach to police-community violence. These four functions are:. The socialization process for patrol officers has been well documented in the literature--as discussed elsewhere in this publication. Police officers tend to become the kind of police officers they are socialized to be.

The two most important components of the socialization process--and thus the process of leadership--are formal training and informal "peer group" indoctrination of the young officer. The field training officer FTO , field training program, and formal classroom training form the cornerstone of the young officer's operational personality. The acquisition of acceptable operational traits and the inculcation of "preferred" organizational values during this period will last for years under the tutelage of effective leadership. The acquisition of "bad habits" can be avoided through a carefully designed socialization process that is implemented by handpicked personnel at the training academy and in field orientation experiences.

The field training officer is all important to the success of a department's training program as the FTO is the first person in authority who will orient a new officer to the job environment. These officers must be:. The progressive leader can use the influence of the FTOs to build positive work environments by being aware that the influences of mentors and the need to be accepted are powerful factors in the training of new officers.

When there is consistency between explicit and implicit organizational values, explicit job-related behavioral expectations are continually reinforced throughout the training program, creating a conducive learning environment for new officers. Accordingly, leaders that set forth explicit behavioral expectations through the development of a "value-congruent" training program have the potential to significantly improve organizational performance.

There are several questions the police executive may ask which will help to gauge the effectiveness of a department's leadership in the area of socialization. While the following are generic questions, they will help identify areas that need improvement:. The chief executive's answers to these questions will aid in identifying areas which should be addressed concerning the socialization of new police officers. Once the desired socialization of police officers is attained, it is a role of leadership to continue to refine this socialization.

Administrative mechanisms are probably the most commonly used leadership tool for managing police-community violence. The process of effective leadership here involves first determining the values which must be proffered by departmental policy. This is followed by the development of procedures, rules, and regulations which reflect those values including establishing internal audit, review, and sanction processes to enforce compliance; and "interfacing" with the community to reduce the use "violent" solutions to problems.

There are several questions the police executive should ask to determine the extent to which administrative mechanisms about police use of force are in place:. Effective leadership has its most conventional impact in the area of positive and negative reinforcement of police officers. Contrary to some beliefs, negative reinforcement is not "punishment. Positive reinforcement, of course, refers to the provision of rewards for behavior that is desirable. The chief executive should ask several questions to help assess how effectively department leadership uses reinforcement to foster nonviolent behavior:.

The chief executive's answers to these questions will aid in identifying areas that need to be addressed concerning the positive and negative reinforcement of officer behavior. It is the role of leadership to continue to refine the positive socialization initially imparted to police personnel. This is accomplished through selecting appropriate positive and negative reinforcement for personnel who behave in ways which foster nonviolent problem resolution.

Another way for the police executive to establish effective leadership in the realm of police-community violence is to educate the community in the expectations they should have of the department and the expectations the department has of the community. This function addresses the "community cultures" dimension of effective leadership. No matter what the internal functions of effective leadership within the department, positive change in the police-community violence cycles will occur more easily if the community is involved in the change process.

Police-community partnerships and the engagement of the community in solving problems of violence enhance police effectiveness. There are several questions the law enforcement executive can ask to determine the extent the community is likely to be involved in helping retard the police-community violence cycle.

These questions are based on the premise that the police and the community share ownership, responsibility, and accountability for reducing these incidents of violence:. These questions help the executive identify areas or concerns that should be addressed in managing the police-community partnership. The extent to which this connection is well managed will, to some extent, dictate the degree of success the police executive can expect. In summary, the "effective leadership" of a police organization's attempt to control the police-community violence cycle cannot be accomplished by a one-dimensional approach to the problem.

A leadership plan which focuses merely on one aspect of the problem is most likely a plan that will not achieve its objectives. What is required is a multidimensional approach which focuses on both internal and external factors, an approach which addresses operational problems as well as administrative processes, and which addresses the need for change within the informal leadership of the department as well as the need for change within the community.

Through the development of an "interactive" model of professionalism which focuses on the four stated areas of change within the department and its environment, police executives can develop the effective leadership necessary to have an impact on the cycle of police-community violence. Until an approach is developed that is multidimensional, interactive, and fully supported by the chief executive, reliance on the "leadership model" to reduce the police use of force will bear little fruit. The interpretation of experience usually falls short of the full content of the experience in question.

Often we will return to the same experience from a slightly different angle in an attempt to grasp more of its full significance. And yet the totality of an experience is always greater than the sum of its individual parts. The implications of an experience can take time to unfold, and it may happen that the real significance of an experience only emerges at a later stage in the life of an individual. These preliminary remarks about the meaning of experience apply to all human experiences whether one is talking about science or philosophy or theology.

Clearly experience within this framework is a uniquely formative element. Furthermore, experience is the basic source of all human understanding, including religious understanding.

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Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every airborne article in its tissue. It is the very atmosphere of the mind. It is against this background on the meaning of experience that we can now distinguish the existence of the different kinds of experiences. A classification of different kinds of human experience Obviously the individual is capable of undergoing a wide variety of human experiences in life.

Broadly speaking these experiences may be divided into primary and secondary experiences, or what are sometimes called ordinary and extraordinary experiences, 25 or what others refer to as outer and inner experiences. Ordinary experiences may be described as those everyday subject-object encounters we have in life. These experiences are primarily sense experiences and do not go beyond the external surface of life. Such experiences cover the coming and going of everyday activity.

However, in addition to this external sense contact with the world, there are those special moments when we go below the surface of life to discover a deeper dimension which is not immediately evident. The discovery of these realities is made through the mediation of an ordinary human experience.

As such the discovery is always indirect. We do not experience truth as an object like an apple hanging from a tree. Bernard Lonergan distinguishes between the world of immediate experience and the world mediated by meaning.

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In contrast, the world mediated by meaning is the world of the adult; it is the world intended by questions, organised by intelligence, described by imagination and language, and enriched by tradition. The movement by the individual from the world of immediate experience to the world mediated by meaning brings about a change in the life of the subject. For one thing it alters the quality of self-consciousness. In addition it opens up the invisible presence of a whole new world of meaning. The world of meaning is not immediately or directly available to the individual.

This does not mean that this world is less real. This movement by the subject from a world of objects out there into a world mediated by meaning opens up new horizons of human understanding. It is within the realm of this new world of meaning generated by secondary, depth-experience that we can begin to talk about what is involved in a religious experience. The underlying characteristic of a religious experience is that individuals find themselves called and drawn into a new relationship with that which is variously termed the Transcendent Other, the Holy, and the Ultimate.

From a structural point of view a religious experience follows the same pattern as that of a secondary depth-experience. A disclosure is made through the medium of a human experience. This disclosure is identified with what is called the religious dimension of life. To this extent every religious experience is always a depth-experience, though not every depth-experience is necessarily a religious experience. As a basic principle we can say that a religious experience is at one and the same time an experience of something else. This account of the different kinds of human experience may be summarised diagrammatically as follow:.

Schmaus, Dogma , vol. Redemptor hominis , n. Tillich, Systematic Theology , vol. Ibid Ibid, p. While he does state formally that experience is the medium and not the source of theology ibid, pp. The following account of the meaning of experience is indebted to J.

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Smith, Experience and God , pp. The concepts we have settle for us the form of experience we have of the world. We are assuming here a real distinction between subjectivism, which implies loss of contact with the external world and subjectivity, which arises out of experience with reality. Quoted in J. It refers primarily to that which lies both within and beyond ordinary experience.

See K.


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Rahner in K. Rahner and P. Imhof, Ignatius of Loyola London: Collins, , pp. Lonergan, Method in Theology , pp. Smith, Experience and God , p.



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