Mysticism: Holiness East and West / Edition 1

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Overview

The particulars of a mystical experience color and shape its essence. But as Denise and John Carmody tell us, be it a Native American vision quest, or the intense soul-wrenching experience of a great storm, or a passionate love, or a dialogue in deep prayer with a personal divinity - any of these can be considered a mystical episode, if it draws us into a direct encounter with ultimate reality. In Mysticism: Holiness East and West, the Carmodys apply this broad definition of mysticism - a direct encounter with ultimate reality - to mystical experiences found in the world's great religions, providing insight into mysticism and into religious practice around the globe. The Carmodys offer an informative survey of the six major world religions - the Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions - and they also examine the religious practices of North American, Latin American, African, and Australian native peoples. They illuminate the history, principal beliefs, and teaching of each religion, and then examine the lives and works of each tradition's outstanding mystics. Equally important, the Carmodys compare the mysticism found in one tradition with that found in the others, revealing how mystical practice varies widely from one religious group to the next. They find, for instance, that Jewish mystical experience has seldom been given to the magical flight practiced by native American shamans, nor has it over-regarded miracle working. Likewise, the book compares John of the Cross's negation of the self with the Indian doctrine of "not this, not that" which relates to the Buddhist idea of Nirvana. In providing a comprehensive and accessible guide to mysticism, the Carmodys have done a major service for anyone seeking mystical experience and for all those interested in religion as practiced throughout the world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A brilliant and moving overview of representative moments in the mystical tradition of the world's major religions....More than introducing us to the sacramental, metaphorical language of the mystics and providing a refreshing, liberating, and kaleidoscopic guide to creative self-transformation, Denise and John Carmody share their own spiritual sensitivity with us."--Leonard J. Biallas, Division of Theology and Philosophy, Quincy University

"The best single-volume, popular book to date on mysticism east and west. Erudite, concise, nuanced, balanced, and pellucid, it captures both the mind and heart of the world's great mystical traditions." --Harvey D. Egan, Professor of Systematic and Mystical Theology, Boston College

Booknews
Provides a theory of mysticism as a direct encounter with ultimate reality and surveys mysticism in Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the traditional religious cultures of oral peoples in North America, Latin America, Australia, and Africa. Illuminates the history and teachings of each religion, and examines the lives and works of each tradition's outstanding mystics, touching on subjects such as yoga, prophecy, and shamanism. For undergraduates and general readers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195088199
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,053,926
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.19 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Authors:
Denise Lardner Carmody is Hanley Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. John Tully Carmody is Senior Research Fellow in Religion, also at Santa Clara University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Hinduism 28
3 Buddhism 60
4 Chinese and Japanese Traditions 101
5 Jewish Traditions 137
6 Christian Traditions 186
7 Muslim Traditions 226
8 Mysticism Among Oral Peoples 272
9 Conclusion 293
Index 313
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