The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism by Amy Hollywood, Patricia Z. Beckman

By Amy Hollywood, Patricia Z. Beckman

The Cambridge significant other to Christian Mysticism is a multi-authored interdisciplinary advisor to the research of Christian mysticism, with an emphasis at the 3rd during the 17th centuries. The ebook is thematically geared up when it comes to the relevant contexts, practices, and ideas linked to the magical lifestyles in early, medieval, and early smooth Christianity. Written by way of prime specialists and more youthful students from various disciplines, the amount either presents a transparent creation to the Christian mystical existence and articulates a daring new method of the examine of mysticism. The booklet seems past the time period "mysticism," which was once an early glossy invention, to discover the methods within the historical phrases "mystic" and "mystical" have been utilized in the Christian culture: What varieties of practices, modes of lifestyles, and studies have been defined as "mystical"? What realizing of Christianity and of the lifetime of Christian perfection is articulated via mystical interpretations of scripture, mystical contemplation, mystical imaginative and prescient, mystical theology, or mystical union? What practices and reviews supplied the framework during which one can describe mystical phenomena? And what issues are on the leading edge of the modern examine of Christian mystical perform and adventure?

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Aft. 1438) and Ann Lee (d. 1784), the founder of the Shakers, “the relationship with Christ is described as relational, as interactive and changeable, as constituted through aspirations and speciic behaviors and the particularities of contact, of touch and reaction, between two beings” (p. 339). “Mystical sexuality is,” she concludes, “about the intense pleasure and pain that bodies inlict and receive, and about the ecstasy, standing outside oneself, the rhythmic arousal and breathless pleasure that come from and in this experience” (p.

Furthermore, Somerset argues, in their attention to the inest detail of emotional states and to the varied means by which emotion can be generated, early and medieval Christian texts provide a useful counterpart to contemporary research, which attempts to distinguish between pan-cultural “basic emotions,” socially constructed emotions, and higher cognitive states in which biological and cultural factors both play a role. ”34 Throughout the essays collected here we see a recurrent emphasis on the spiritual senses – irst of scripture, then by extension of the human person – and a close link between the senses and the emotions.

Mystical experience is, for Introduction 31 Dailey, in some fundamental sense unlived, for it marks the eruption of the eternal into time. In describing visionary experience, she argues, “the vision is outside of time, in that the mystic’s inner body or soul experiences an awareness or proximity to the divine, which may be beyond the grasp of language” (pp. 347–8). Hence the interplay of time and eternity replicate the interplay between the inscription of God in language and God’s radical unnameability, between the embodied language that is the mystic’s ecstatic and wounded corporality and the illegibility of that affectively riven corpus.

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