The Presence of Light: Divine Radiance and Religious Experience
University of Chicago Press, Nov 3, 2004 - Religion - 317 pages
There is perhaps no greater constant in religious intuition and experience than the presence of light. In spiritual traditions East and West, light is not only ubiquitous but something that assumes strikingly similar forms in altogether different historical and cultural settings. This study examines light as an aspect of religiously valued experiences and its entailments for mystical theology, philosophy, politics, and religious art.
The essays in this volume make an important contribution to religious studies by proposing that it is misleading to conceive of religious experience in terms of an irreconcilable dichotomy between universality and cultural construction. An esteemed group of contributors, representing the study of Asian and Western religious traditions from a range of disciplinary perspectives, suggests that attention to various forms of divine radiance shows that there is indeed a range of principles that, if not universal, are nevertheless very widely occurring and amenable to fruitful comparative inquiry. What results is a work of enormous scope, demonstrating compelling cross-connections that will be of value to scholars of comparative religions, mysticism, and the relationship between art and the sacred.
* Catherine B. Asher
* Raoul Birnbaum
* Sarah Iles Johnston
* Matthew T. Kapstein
* Andrew Louth
* Paul E. Muller-Ortega
* Elliot R. Wolfson
* Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
* Hossein Ziai
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Abhinavagupta Abu al-Fazl aesthetic Akbar appears Buddha Buddhist Byzantine century Chaldean Oracles Chinese Chishti context cultural darkness death diﬀerent divine light Dunhuang eﬀect Eiga monogatari emperor essence experiences of light ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬂame Genshin God’s Guan Wuliangshou jing hesychast Hindu History Iamblichus Ibid identiﬁed illumination Illuminationist Indian ineﬀable inﬂuence Jahangir Kabbalah Kannin Kanpaku Kashmir knowledge light of consciousness Light of Lights luminosity luminous manifestations Maximos medieval meditation Michinaga monks Mu’in al-Din Mughal Muryo¯juin mystical experience narratives nature nenbutsu nondual object oﬀers painting phenomena philosophy present Pure Land Pure Land teaching radiant rainbow body reality reﬂect religion religious experience ritual S´aivism S´aivite S´iva saint scientiﬁc scriptures Shah Jahan shines Shoyuki signiﬁcant soul speciﬁc spiritual su¯tra Suhrawardı Sukha¯vatı supreme light symbolism Symeon Taboric light Tantra Tantric Tendai theology theurgist Tibetan tion tomb tradition Transﬁguration University Press vision visual Wutai Mountains Wutai shan Zohar