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 358. Students taking the
400-level version of this course will complete a
more comprehensive research paper, defending an
original thesis and offering critical judgments of
relevant arguments and evidence. The course can
only be taken once and cannot be repeated at the
300 level.