The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies

Front Cover
Jorge N. Ferrer, Jacob H. Sherman
SUNY Press, Dec 4, 2008 - Psychology - 388 pages
Can we take seriously religious experience, spirituality, and mysticism, without reducing them to either cultural-linguistic by-products or simply asserting their validity as a dogmatic fact? The contributors to this volume argue that we can, and they offer a new way: the participatory turn, which proposes that individuals and communities have an integral and irreducible role in bringing forth ontologically rich religious worlds. They explore the ways this approach weaves together and gives voice to a number of robust trends in contemporary religious scholarship, including the renewed study of lived spirituality, the postmodern emphasis on embodied and gendered subjectivity, the admission of alternate epistemic perspectives, the irreducibility of religious pluralism, and the pragmatist emphasis on transformation all trends that raise serious challenges to the currently prevalent linguistic paradigm.

The first part of the book situates the participatory turn in the context of contemporary Religious Studies; the second part shows how this approach can be applied to various global traditions, ancient and contemporary, from Western esotericism to Jewish mysticism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sufism, and socially engaged Buddhism.
 

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About the author (2008)

Jorge N. Ferrer is Chair of the Department of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and the author of Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality, also published by SUNY Press.

Jacob H. Sherman is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of the Divinity at the University of Cambridge.

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