The definition of mysticism has shifted, in modern thinking, from a patristic emphasis on the objective content of experience to the modern emphasis on the subjective psychological states or feelings of the individual. Post Kantian Idealism and Romanticism was involved in this shift to a far larger extent than is usually recognized. An important conductor of the subjectivist view of mysticism to modern philosophers of religion was William James, even though in other respects he repudiated Romantic and especially Idealist categories (...) of thought. In this article I wish first to explore William James' understanding of mysticism and religious experience, and then to measure that understanding against the accounts of two actual mystics, Bernard of Clairvaux and Julian of Norwich, who, for all their differences, may be taken as paradigms of the Christian mystical tradition. I shall argue that judging from these two cases, James' position is misguided and inadequate. Since James' account has been of enormous influence in subsequent thinking about mysticism, it follows that if his understanding of mysticism is inadequate, so is much of the work that rests upon it. (shrink)
Donna Haraway, in her ‘Manifesto for Cyborgs’, issues a warning that in the postmodern world where grand narratives increasingly fail and subjects are seen to be irremediably fragmented, ‘we risk lapsing into boundless difference and giving up on the confusing task of making a partial, real connection. Some differences are playful; some are poles of world historical systems of domination. Epistemology is about knowing the difference’. Such an account of epistemology, which sees its central task to be a knowledge of (...) the significance of difference and a capacity to discern between innocent and oppressive forms of difference, is perhaps not one that would most readily occur to British philosophers of religion. It is, however, an account which has resonances both with many contemporary continental thinkers and with feminist epistemologists. Notwithstanding the many areas of divergence between and among these groups, on two points at least they converge: that the recognition and discernment of difference has become inescapable for epistemology, and that of the differences which must be dealt with, gender difference has a paradigmatic status. (shrink)
The great increase of interest in the study of spirituality and mysticism is reflected in the large number of articles that the Encyclopedia of Religion devotes to various aspects of this topic. As one would expect, there are long entries for ‘Mysticism’ and ‘Christian Spirituality’ and ‘Religious Experience’. In addition to these broad categories, attention is given to more specific aspects of spirituality such as ‘Asceticism’, ‘Silence’, ‘Prayer’, ‘Meditation’, and so on. This is complemented by entries on many of the (...) spiritual giants of the Christian tradition, both ancient and modern. I shall begin by discussing these articles on individuals, and go on to examine the more general articles later in the review. I shall suggest that, despite many merits, both sorts of entry display an editorial policy about which serious questions must be raised. (shrink)
What must I do to be saved? And is what I must do the same as what you must do? The Philippian jailor in the book of Acts received a most peculiar answer to the question: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ’, said St Paul, ‘and you will be saved.’ In the context, this hardly seems appropriate. The jailor was not asking how he could be assured of a place in the next world, or how he could be reconciled to (...) God or have his sins forgiven. His was a cry of quite unreligious desperation: was there any alternative to suicide, now that his prison was no longer secure and he had failed in his duty? The curious thing about the story is that it is recorded, not as an example of over–zealous bad manners, but as ultimately the right answer for even the jailor's situation. When Paul instructed him further, he and his household were baptized: the writer clearly intended the story to show that Paul's initial response was exactly right, and that belief in Christ brought salvation to the jailor and his family. (shrink)
An identical consciousness of close communion with God is obtained by the non-sacramental Quaker in his silence and by the sacramental Catholic in the Eucharist. The Christian contemplative's sense of personal intercourse with the divine as manifest in the incarnate Christ is hard to distinguish from that of the Hindu Vaishnavite, when we have allowed for the different constituents of his apperceiving mass.
In this book we meet with the modern sage, U.G. Krishnamurti, and listen to his penetrating voice describing life and reality as it is. What is body and what is mind? Is there a soul? Is there a beyond, a God? What is enlightenment? Is there a life after death? Never before have these questions been tackled with such simplicity, candour and clarity. In these unpublished early conversations with friends (1967-71), U.G.discusses in detail his search for the truth and how (...) he underwent radical biological changes in 1967. Preferring to call it the natural state over enlightenment, he insists that whatever transformation he has undergone is within the structure of the human body and not in the mind at all. It is the natural state of being that sages like the Buddha, Jesus and, in modern times, Sri Ramana, stepped into. And U.G.never tires of pointing out that 'this is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.'. (shrink)
In this book we meet with the modern sage, U.G. Krishnamurti, and listen to his penetrating voice describing life and reality as it is. What is body and what is mind? Is there a soul? Is there a beyond, a God? What is enlightenment? Is there a life after death? Never before have these questions been tackled with such simplicity, candour and clarity. In these unpublished early conversations with friends, U.G.discusses in detail his search for the truth and how he (...) underwent radical biological changes in 1967. Preferring to call it the natural state over enlightenment, he insists that whatever transformation he has undergone is within the structure of the human body and not in the mind at all. It is the natural state of being that sages like the Buddha, Jesus and, in modern times, Sri Ramana, stepped into. And U.G.never tires of pointing out that 'this is the way you, stripped of the machinations of thought, are also functioning.'. (shrink)
The certainty that blasts everything -- Hope is for tomorrow, not today -- Not knowing is your natural state -- There is nothing to understand -- We have created this jungle society -- The body as a crucible.
"The book’s contribution to feminist philosophy of religion is substantial and original.... It brings the continental and Anglo-American traditions into substantive and productive conversation with each other." —Ellen Armour To what extent has the emergence of the study of religion in Western culture been gendered? In this exciting book, Grace Jantzen proposes a new philosophy of religion from a feminist perspective. Hers is a vital and significant contribution which will be essential reading in the study of religion.
Book Reviewed in this article: Traditional Sayings in the Old Testament. By Carole R. Fontaine. Pp. viii, 279, Sheffield, The Almond Press, 1982, £17.95, £8.95. The First Day of the New Creation: The Resurrection and the Christian Faith. By Vesilin Keisch. Pp.206, Crestwood, New York, St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1982, £6.25. The First Day of the New Creation: The Resurrection and the Christian Faith. By Vesilin Keisch. Pp.206, Crestwood, New York, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1982, £6.25. The Resurrection of Jesus: (...) A Jewish Perspective. By Pinchas Lapide. Pp.160, London, SPCK, 1983, 4.95. Easter Enigma. By John Wenham. Pp.162, Exeter, Paternoster Press, 1984, £2.95. The Anastasis: the Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Event. By J. Duncan M. Derrett. Pp.xiv, 166, Shipston‐on‐Stour, P. Drinkwater, 1982, £5.00. The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity. By Christopher Rowland. Pp. xii, 562, London, SPCK, 1982, £22.50. Christianity Rediscovered: An Epistle from the Masai. By Vincent J. Donovan. Pp. viii, 200, London, SCM Press, 1982, £5.50. Basics of a Roman Catholic Theology. By William A. Van Roo, S.J. Pp.387, Rome, Gregorian University Press, 1982, $21.00. Charisms and Charismatic Renewal: a Biblical and Theological Study. By Francis A. Sullivan. Pp.184, Dublin, Gill & Macmillan, 1982, £5.95. Holiness and Politics. By Peter Hinchliff. Pp.214, London, Darton, Longman and Todd, 1982, £8.95. Rational Theology and the Creativity of God. By Keith Ward. Pp.240, Oxford, Blackwell, 1982, £14.00. The Point of Christology. By S.M. Ogden. Pp.xii, 193, London, SCM Press, 1982, £5.95. Fullness of Humanity: Christ's Humanness and Ours. By T.E. Pollard. Pp.126, Sheffield, The Almond Press, 1982, £9.95, £5.95. Milton's Good God: A Study in Literary Theodicy. By Dennis Richard Danielson. Pp.xi, 292, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £20.00. Biblical Tradition in Blake's Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art. By Leslie Tannenbaum. Pp.xiii, 373, Princeton University Press, 1982, £17.60. The Inner Journey of the Poet and Other Papers. By Kathleen Raine, edited by Brian Keeble. Pp.xii, 208, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1982, £9.95.iVol. 34: Horayot and Niddah. Translated by Jacob Neusner. Pp.xiii, 243, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1982, £17.50. Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire A.D. 312–460. By Ed. Hunt. Pp. £+ 269, Oxford University Press, 1982, £16.50. Constantine versus Christ: The Triumph of Ideology. By Alistair Kee. Pp.186, London, SCM Press, 1982, £5.95. Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity. By Peter Brown. Pp.347, London, Faber and Faber, 1982, £10.50. Elishe: History of Vardan and the Armenian War. Translation and commentary by Robert W. Thomson. Pp.x, 353, 1 map, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1982, £21.00. Ireland in Early Mediaeval Europe: Studies in Memory of Kathleen Hughes. Edited by Dorothy Whitelock, Rosamond McKitterick and David Dumville. Pp.x, 406, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £39.00. Letters from Ireland 1228–1229 by Stephen of Lexington. Translated with an introduction by B.W. O'Dwyer. Pp.vii, 292, Kalamazoo, Cistercian Publications, 1982, $24.95. The Occupation of Celtic Sites in Ireland by the Canons Regular of St Augustine and the Cistercians. By Geraldine Carville. Pp.ix, 158, Kalamazoo, Cistercian Publications, 1982, $13.95. Chartres: The Masons who built a Legend. By John James. Pp.200, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982, £17.50. Temples, Churches and Mosques: A Guide to the Appreciation of Religious Architecture. By J.G. Davies. Pp.x, 262, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1982, £12.50. The Murdered Magicians: The Templars and their Myth. By Peter Partner. Pp.xxi, 209. Oxford University Press, 1982, £12.95. The Italian Crusades: The Papal‐Angevin Alliance and the Crusades Against Christian Lay Powers, 1254–1343. By Norman Housley. Pp.xi, 293, Oxford, Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press, 1982, £17.50. The Westminster Chronicle, 1381–1394. Edited and Translated by L.C. Hector and Barbara F. Harvey. Pp.lxxvii, 563. Oxford, the Clarendon Press, 1982, £42.00. Frömmigkeitstheologie am Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts. By Berndt Hamm. Pp.xv, 378, Tübingen, J.C.B. Mohr, 1982, 168 DM. Erasmi Opera omnia, IX, 2: Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami Apologia respondens ad ea quae Iambus Lopis Stunica taxavrat in prima duntaxat Novi Testamenti aeditione. Edited by Henk Jan de Jonge. Pp.292, Amsterdam, North‐Holland Publishing Company, 1983, 280 guilders. The Christian Polity of John Calvin. By Harro Höpfl. Pp.x, 303, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £27.50. Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God. By John Calvin, translated with an Introduction by J.K.S. Reid. Pp.191, Cambridge, James Clarke & Co., 1982, £5.95. Spanish Protestants and Reformers in the Sixteenth Century: A Bibliography. By A. Gordon Kinder. Pp.108, London, Grant & Cutler, 1983, £6.80. Moderate Puritans and the Elizabethan Church. By Peter Lake. Pp.viii, 357, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £27.50. Resistance and Compromise: The Political Thought of Elizabethan Catholics. By Peter Holmes. Pp.viii, 279, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £22.50. Dutch Puritanism: A History of English and Scottish Churches of the Netherlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. By Keith L. Sprunger. Pp.xiii, 485, Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1982, 172 guilders. John Toland and the Deist Controversy. By Robert E. Sullivan. Pp.viii, 355, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1982, £19.95. Radical Sects of Revolutionary New England. By Stephen A. Marini. Pp. 213, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1982, £11.55. Religion and Society in North America: An Annotated Bibliography. Edited by Robert deV: Brunkow. Pp.xi, 515, Santa Barbara, ABC‐Clio; Oxford, EBC‐Clio, 1983, £57.75. Charles Lowder and the Ritualist Movement. By Lida Ellsworth. Pp.vi, 234, London, Darton, Longman & Todd, 1982, £17.95. How the Pope became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. By August Bernhard Hasler. Pp.xi, 383, New York, Doubleday, 1981, $14.95; London, Sheldon Pres, 1982, £15.00. Hauptsache der Papst ist katholisch. Edited by Bruno Nies. Pp.104, Salzburg, Otto Müller, 1982, öS 140. Religious Change in Contemporary Poland: Secularization and Politics. By Maciej Pomian‐Srednicki. Pp.227, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982, £12.50. World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. Edited by David B. Barrett. Pp.1010, Nairobi, Oxford University Press, 1982, £55.00. Probability and Evidence. By Paul Horwich. Pp.vii, 146, Cambridge University Press, 1982, £15.00. Philosophical Foundations of Probability Theory. By Roy Weatherford. Pp.xi, 282, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982, £15.00. The Origins of Greek Thought. By Jean‐Pierre Vernant. Pp.144, London, Methuen, 1982, £9.95. Portraying Analogy. By J.F. Ross. Pp.xi, 244, Cambridge University Press, 1981, £20.00. The Marriage of East and West. By Bede Griffiths. Pp.224, London, Collins, 1982, £5.95. The Religious Experience: A Socio‐Psychological Perspective. By C.D. Batson & W.L. Ventis Pp.ix, 356, New York, Oxford University Press, 1982, £18.50,£9.95. (shrink)
This is the one and only book by the pioneer of the identity theory of mind. The collection focuses on Place's philosophy of mind and his contributions to neighboring issues in metaphysics and epistemology. It includes an autobiographical essay as well as a recent paper on the function and neural location of consciousness.