Mysticisms East and West: Studies in Mystical Experience

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Christopher Hugh Partridge, Theodore P. C. Gabriel
Paternoster, 2003 - Religion - 377 pages
Mysticism is proving to be the chosen type of religion for future generations of believers in the West. As traditional institutional religion continues to decline, mystical thought is celebrated as a vital, subversive alternative. Evidence for this religious-cultural shift towards the mystical, the experiential, and indeed the creation-centered can be found in bookstores, most of which devote a large amount of shelf space to mystical themes and writers from the world religions.

While this shift is not new, an increasing number of westerners are turning east because they find the fundamentally mystical thought of Asian religious traditions appealing. Furthermore, numerous westerners have actually become gurus and mystics within Eastern traditions. Mysticisms East and West examines the worldwide phenomenon of mystical experience across the world religions. In examining both Christian and non-Christian expressions of mysticism, this unique volume brings together a number of prominent evangelical scholars to analyze the central historical, cultural, and theological issues. Beginning in the East, these studies in mystical experience gradually move to the West and to Christian mysticism before concluding with a number of philosophically reflective essays examining the implications and nature of mysticism.

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About the author (2003)

Christopher Partridge is Professor of Contemporary Religion at the University of Chester, England. Helen Reid is Director of Faith to Faith, a Christian consultancy.

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