The Problem of Pure Consciousness: Mysticism and Philosophy / Edition 1

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Are mystical experiences formed by the mystic's cultural background and concepts, as "constructivists" maintain, or do mystics sometimes transcend language, belief, and culturally conditioned expectations? Do mystical experiences differ throughout the various religious traditions, as "pluralists" contend, or are they somehow ecumenical? The contributors to this collection scrutinize a common mystical experience, the "pure consciousness event"—the experience of being awake but devoid of intentional content—in order to answer these questions. Through the use of historical Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Jewish mystical writings, as well as those of modern mystics, the contributors reveal the inconsistencies and inadequacies of current models, and make significant strides towards developing new models for the understanding of mystical phenomenon, in particular, and of human experience, in general.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A useful contribution to the literature, and should help to foster an ongoing dialogue on the topic."—Philosophy East & West

"An important contribution that advances the discussion of a very fundamental issue in the comparative study of religions, this book is highly recommended for all libraries supporting religious studies, especially those responsive to the needs of course offerings on mysticism."—Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195109764
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K.C. Forman is Associate Professor of Religion at City University of New York's Hunter College, and author of six books and numerous articles on religion and religious experiences.

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