A comparative and theoretical exploration of the
various manifestations of mysticism and religious
experience in different contexts and traditions.
Includes classical and current theories of the
nature of mysticism and its relation to asceticism
and other aspects of religious belief and
practice, drawing on sociology, anthropology,
psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science.
Interrogation of the nature and epistemological
status of experience. Numerous case studies,
including sustained attention to Sufism, the
Islamic mystical tradition. This course is
cross-listed with RELS 458. Students taking the
300-level version of this course will complete a
guided research project, identifying and mastering
the range of scholarly positions on a theme,
critical issue, or essential primary text, and
will produce a technically sound research paper.
The course can only be taken once and cannot be
repeated at the 400 level.