If mysticism, as Coventry Patmore defines it, is 'the science of ultimates,' in what way would mysticism explain the possibility of a profound relationship between ultimate reality as infinite and proximate reality as finite ? This paper attempts to address that question through the lens of Evelyn Underhill’s philosophy of mysticism. The paper fundamentally works at framing two of Hegel’s triadic patterns of dialectic against the being-becoming binary as engaged by Underhill. This application helps unveil the relation of transcendence with (...) immanence, a relation that is crucial for a structuring of the infinite-finite mystical intimacy. (shrink)
Embedded in the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi is a unique concept that lends itself to the formulation of a distinct system of ethics. The distinctiveness that wu-wei infuses into the realm of ethics resides in its principal constituent, spontaneity. Implicit in wu-wei is spontaneity and its dialectical opposite, the nonspontaneous elements that are essential to the integrity of any system of ethics. This paper attempts to bring to the fore this implicit dialectic of spontaneity and non spontaneity through wu-wei's relation (...) to the Dao as harmony of opposites, its imperative of enlightened response, and its congeniality to the case for libertarianism. (shrink)
This paper endeavours to unravel the dialectical structure embedded within St. John of the Cross’ delineation of the phase of purgation in the economy of mysticism. Two correlative opposites that figure prominently in some systems of theistic mysticism are infinite-finite and grace-effort. The premise of this paper is that those pairings are not dichotomous contraries but are opposites that are amenable to some form of reconciliation. With the aid of a triadic dialectical scheme it is possible to map out the (...) dialectical relations between relevant concepts within mystical purgation, characterized as ‘night’ by St. John, and perhaps achieve some advance in the elucidation of the pairings’ constitutive elements. (shrink)
This paper intends to append the frame of dialectic upon St. John of the Cross’ delineation of mysticism. Its underlying hypothesis is that the dialectical structuring of St. John’s mystical theology promises to unravel the web of relational concepts embedded within his immense writings on this unique phenomenon. It is hoped that as a consequence of this undertaking, relevant pairs of correlative opposites that figure prominently in mysticism can be elucidated and perhaps come to some form of resolution.
The wealth of scholarship on Christian mysticism attests an enduring interest in this subject matter. Amidst the immense collection of commentaries on Christian mysticism lies this valuable book by Nelstrop, Magill, and Onishi. Their book, far from merely offering a survey of current theories on Christian mysticism, does make significant inroads in teasing out logical connections amongst interpretive theories and interpreted themes.Four different theories on mysticism, namely, perennialist, contextualist, performative language, and feminist, are set to work on examining themes within (...) the Christian tradition such as Neoplatonic influences, apophatic language, erotic imagery, scriptural symbolism and exegesis, self-introspection, church hierarchy, female mysticism, and imaginative meditations. The first two parts of the book range over the readings of these themes through the lenses of the four mentioned theoretical approaches. The last chapter of part two presents viewpoints of the four. (shrink)