Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding

Overview

Drawing materials from mythology, theology, anthropology, and literature, and from a variety of cultural areas, Patrick Laude demonstrates that the comic—sacred clowns, tricksters, and laughter—is at the core of any fundamental and comprehensive understanding of the religious.

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Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding

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Overview

Drawing materials from mythology, theology, anthropology, and literature, and from a variety of cultural areas, Patrick Laude demonstrates that the comic—sacred clowns, tricksters, and laughter—is at the core of any fundamental and comprehensive understanding of the religious.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Laude's great gift is to uncloak the sacred arena in which our laughter rises to heaven and beyond, for there are we returbaned to the most human, the free, exalted expression of our divine nature."—David Appelbaum, former editor, Parabola Magazine

"How can laughter truly heal? Why are we longing to laugh? Patrick Laude's insightful study demonstrates that laughter can take place where the Absolute and Relative meet —at a perceived incongruity. The divine dimension of human laughter may be a spiritual door predicated on the ability for self-transcendance and is condusive to a detachment. In his upcoming work A Returban to the Spirit, the august Martin Lings, as well, answers the question "What is the spiritual dimension of tears and laughter?" He explains: 'In both these spontaneous overflowings of the body the material realm is transcended. But at their highest level, which is indicated by the word "spiritual," the psychic plane is also largely surpassed. The Body is necessarily endowed with various means of escape from itself. Some of these are merely at its own level, not to speak of that which, by the very fact of its separation, necessarily sinks from being a living substance to a dead substance. But at the same time the escape in itself, as such, can in varying degrees afford access to a higher plane of existence.' How important for us to understand the deeper alchemical functions of these common emotions and thereby hopefully make transformative use from such gained awareness."—V. Gray Henry-Blakemore, Director Fons Vitae Press for World Spirituality

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403970152
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/21/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Laude is Professor of French, Georgetown University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Mâyâ and the Divine Treasure
• Ambiguity of the Demiurge
• Dionysus, Shiva, Osiris
• Divine Troublemakers
• Coyote and Kin
• Reading the Trickster's Footsteps
• Thundering Clowns
• Spiritual Laughter
• Fools for Christ's Sake
• The People of Blame
• Fools on a Tightrope
• Epilogue: Cracks of Light

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