Phenomenology and Mysticism

Phenomenology and Mysticism

The Verticality of Religious Experience
Anthony J. Steinbock
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/17/2007
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-34934-7
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Winner of the 2009 Edward Goodwin Ballard Prize in Phenomenology

Exploring the first-person narratives of three figures from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic mystical traditions—St. Teresa of Avila, Rabbi Dov Baer, and Rzbihn Baql—Anthony J. Steinbock provides a complete phenomenology of mysticism based in the Abrahamic religious traditions. He relates a broad range of religious experiences, or verticality, to philosophical problems of evidence, selfhood, and otherness. From this philosophical description of vertical experience, Steinbock develops a social and cultural critique in terms of idolatry—as pride, secularism, and fundamentalism—and suggests that contemporary understandings of human experience must come from a fuller, more open view of religious experience.

Author Bio

Anthony J. Steinbock is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is author of Home and Beyond: Generative Phenomenology after Husserl and editor-in-chief of Continental Philosophy Review.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Vertical Givenness in Human Experience
1. The Religious and Mystical Shape of Experience
2. St. Teresa of Avila and Mysticism of Prayer
3. Rabbi Dov Baer and Mysticism of Ecstasy
4. Rzbihn Baql and Mysticism of Unveiling
5. Matters of Evidence in Religious Experience
6. Epiphany and Withdrawal
7. On Individuation
8. Idolatry
Epilogue: On the De-Limitation of the Religious and the Moral

Glossary of Main Hebrew and Arabic Terms