Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality
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The authors in this volume explore a wide variety of the contemporary approaches to mystical and religious experience to elucidate what religious experience is, in its own terms, and how its practitioners understand it. This anthology features contributions that point… out that contemporary studies of consciousness, sociology, hermeneutics, neuroscience, medicine, and other fields, are revealing that there is much more to be said for the inner life of a human’s consciousness than reductionists and behaviorists will allow.This book is one of very few that primarily takes the stance of academic practitioners, explaining their own experience, rather than that of academics trying to explain the phenomena away, as really politics, or sociology, or delusion, or psychological pathology, or literary flights of fancy, or an aberration of any of the other academic fields. Most of the authors in this volume embrace the task of explaining and analyzing religious experience, mysticism, and the healing power of silence and presence, using the resources of all of the academic disciplines, as appropriate. The essays contained analyze religious, and non-religious, mystical and profoundly personal experiences across several world religions, and in areas such as art and music, as well as in solving personal crises such as family disruption and patriarchal oppression. The authors address the subject matter through analyses of the frequent and destructive failures of language, or just noise, to capture or express the nuances of the inner life of a person. It is this very ineffability of self that renders the spiritual, emotional and interior life of individuals beyond cognition and perception, of the straightforward sorts embraced by most cognitive disciplines. The contributors come from a variety of cross-disciplinary fields to bring forth the possibilities for an intuitive and creative, rich and growing inner life for a human. This text appeals to students, researchers, and practitioners.