Revelation

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In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with supernatural entities (divine, …). It is believed that revelation can originate directly from a deity, or through an agent, such as an angel. One who has experienced such contact with or communication from the divine is often called a prophet. An article (p. 555) under the heading "mysticism," and contributed by Ninian Smart, J.F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religion, University of California, and President of the American Academy of Religion, writing in the 1999 edition of "The Norton Dictionary of Modern Thought," (W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.), suggests that the more proper and wider term for such an encounter would be mystical, making such a person a mystic. The prophet's encounter would of course have a more dedicated purpose, so that all prophets would be mystics, but all mystics would not be prophets.

Some religions have religious texts which they view as divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired. Revelation from a supernatural source is of much lesser importance in some other religious traditions. It is not of great importance in the Asian religions of Taoism and Confucianism, but similarities have been noted between the Abrahamic view of revelation and the Buddhist principle of Enlightenment.

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