Reality and Mystical Experience

Overview

Responding to our modern disillusionment with any claims to absolute truth regarding morality or reality, this book offers a conceptual approach for discussing absolutes without denying either the relevance of divergent religious and philosophical teachings or the evidence supporting postmodern and poststructuralist critiques.

Case studies of mysticism within Advaita-Vedanta Hinduism, Madhyamika Buddhism, and Nicene Christianity demonstrate the value of this approach and offer ...

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Overview

Responding to our modern disillusionment with any claims to absolute truth regarding morality or reality, this book offers a conceptual approach for discussing absolutes without denying either the relevance of divergent religious and philosophical teachings or the evidence supporting postmodern and poststructuralist critiques.

Case studies of mysticism within Advaita-Vedanta Hinduism, Madhyamika Buddhism, and Nicene Christianity demonstrate the value of this approach and offer many fresh insights into the metaphysical presuppositions of these religions as well as into the nature and value of mystical experience.

Like Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, this book finds ultimate reality to be rationally graspable only as an eternal fugue of pattern and paradox. Yet it does not so much counter other philosophical views as provide a conceptual tool for understanding and classifying incommensurable views.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271030210
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2008
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

F. Samuel Brainard received his doctorate in religion from Temple University. During his varied career he has taught religion at Temple and Rutgers-Camden, served as financial vice president of an electronics manufacturing firm, owned and operated a bookstore, and been involved with two nonprofit organizations, one focusing on holistic health and the other on interreligious understanding.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Publicity-Presence-Awareness Terminology 11
3 Implications of the Terminology for Discussing Reality 27
4 Mystical Experience 49
5 Buddhism and Madhyamika Mysticisim 69
6 Hinduism and Advaita-Vedanta Mysticism 127
7 Christianity and Dionysian Mysticism 185
8 Reality and Mystery 251
Glossary 273
References 275
Index 285
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