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JEWISHST 333: Comparative Mysticism (RELIGST 233, RELIGST 333)

This graduate seminar will explore the mystical writings of the major religious traditions represented in our department: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. It will address major issues in the study of mysticism, exposing students to a wide variety of religious thinkers and literary traditions, while simultaneously interrogating the usefulness of the concept of "mysticism" as a framework in the study of religion. We will consider various paradigms of method (comparative, constructivist, essentialist), and examine the texts with an eye to historical and social context together with the intellectual traditions that they represent. Preserving the distinctiveness of each religious tradition, the class will be structured as a series of five units around these traditions, but our eyes will be continuously trained upon shared topics or themes, including: language; gender; notions of sainthood; scripture and exegesis; autobiography and writing; mysticism and philosophy; poetr more »
This graduate seminar will explore the mystical writings of the major religious traditions represented in our department: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. It will address major issues in the study of mysticism, exposing students to a wide variety of religious thinkers and literary traditions, while simultaneously interrogating the usefulness of the concept of "mysticism" as a framework in the study of religion. We will consider various paradigms of method (comparative, constructivist, essentialist), and examine the texts with an eye to historical and social context together with the intellectual traditions that they represent. Preserving the distinctiveness of each religious tradition, the class will be structured as a series of five units around these traditions, but our eyes will be continuously trained upon shared topics or themes, including: language; gender; notions of sainthood; scripture and exegesis; autobiography and writing; mysticism and philosophy; poetry and translation; mysticism and social formation; the interface of law, devotion, and spirit; science and mysticism; perceptions of inter-religious influence; mysticism and the modern/ post-modern world. Advanced reading knowledge of at least one language of primary-source scholarship in one of the above traditions is required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5
Instructors: Mayse, E. (PI)
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