Course code:



M - Intermediate

Mysticism is an important current in almost all religions and marks an attempt on the part of the mystic to experience a union with the deepest nature of reality.

This course offers an examination of the nature and types of mystical experience with a particular emphasis on the paradoxical language that many mystics use. Language is thought to be inadequate to describe the nature of the real, and yet language is the only tool to communicate with others. Contradictory and paradoxical expressions and descriptions are used in an attempt to point beyond language directly at reality.

While drawing primarily on Western religions of the Greek, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions, questions are raised concerning the degree to which Eastern traditions, such as Buddhism, can be meaningfully regarded as mystical. Some of the mystics examined in detail include Plotinus, Ibn Arabi, Meister Eckhart, Marguerite Porete, St John, and St. Teresa.

Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions and the ability to convey their understanding of mysticism in both mid-term and final take-home exams.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.