Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism / Edition 2

Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism / Edition 2

by Jeffrey J. Kripal, Jeffrey J. Kripal
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226453790

ISBN-13: 9780226453798

Pub. Date: 12/07/2001

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

William Blake once wrote that "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." Inspired by these poetic terms, Jeffrey J. Kripal reveals how the works of scholars of mysticism are often rooted in their own mystical experiences, "roads of excess," which can both lead to important insights into these scholars' works and point us to our own "palaces of

Overview

William Blake once wrote that "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." Inspired by these poetic terms, Jeffrey J. Kripal reveals how the works of scholars of mysticism are often rooted in their own mystical experiences, "roads of excess," which can both lead to important insights into these scholars' works and point us to our own "palaces of wisdom."

In his new book, Kripal addresses the twentieth-century study of mysticism as a kind of mystical tradition in its own right, with its own unique histories, discourses, sociological dynamics, and rhetorics of secrecy. Fluidly combining autobiography and biography with scholarly exploration, Kripal takes us on a tour of comparative mystical thought by examining the lives and works of five major historians of mysticism—Evelyn Underhill, Louis Massignon, R. C. Zaehner, Agehananda Bharati, and Elliot Wolfson—as well as relating his own mystical experiences. The result, Kripal finds, is seven "palaces of wisdom": the religious power of excess, the necessity of distance in the study of mysticism, the relationship between the mystical and art, the dilemmas of male subjectivity and modern heterosexuality, a call for ethical criticism, the paradox of the insider-outsider problem in the study of religion, and the magical power of texts and their interpretation.
An original and penetrating analysis of modern scholarship and scholars of mysticism, Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom is also a persuasive demonstration of the way this scholarly activity is itself a mystical phenomenon.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226453798
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/07/2001
Edition description:
1
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Sex, Secrecy, and the Sacred
Introduction: Roads of Excess
1. Eyeing the Burning Wings: Analyzing the Mystical Experience of Love in Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism (1911)
Secret Talk: The Vajr~Vva Vision
2. The Passion of Louis Massignon: Sublimating the Homoerotic Gaze in The Passion of al-Hall~j (1922)
Secret Talk: Heroic Heretical Heterosexuality
3. The Doors of Deception: R. C. Zaehner's Ethical and Erotic Challenges to Monistic Experience in Mysticism Sacred and Profane (1957) and Discordant Concord (1970)
Secret Talk: Writing Out (of) That Night
4. Writing Out of the Light at the Center: Reading Agehananda Bharati's Tantric Trilogy (1960, 1965, 1976)
Secret Talk: The Descent
5. The Mystical Mirror of Hermeneutics: Gazing into Elliot Wolfson's Speculum (1994)
Secret Talk: Svapna-Siddha
Conclusion: Palaces of Wisdom
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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