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 Rūzbihān Baqlī—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.