Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding

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Springer, Oct 20, 2005 - Social Science - 273 pages
This study in the relationship between religion and the comic focuses on the ways in which the latter fulfils a central function in the sacred understanding of reality of pre-modern cultures and the spiritual life of religious traditions. The central thesis is that figures such as tricksters, sacred clowns, and holy fools play an essential role in bridging the gap between the divine and the human by integrating the element of disequilibrium that results from the contact between incommensurable realities. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural series of essays is devoted to spiritual, anthropological, and literary characters and phenomena that point to a deeper understanding of the various mythological, ceremonial, and mystical ways in which the fundamental ambiguity of existence is symbolized and acted out. Given its interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective, this volume will appeal to scholars from a variety of fields.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 MY and the DivineTreasure
9
Chapter 2 Ambiguity of the Demiurge
17
Chapter 3 Dionysus Shiva Osiris
40
Chapter 4 Divine Troublemakers
61
Chapter 5 Coyote and Kin
77
Chapter 6 Reading the Tricksters Footsteps
95
Chapter 7 Thundering Clowns
101
Chapter 9 Fools for Christs Sake
130
Chapter 10 The People of Blame
177
Chapter 11 Fools on a Tightrope
195
Cracks of Light
227
Notes
229
Bibliography
262
Index
271
Copyright

Chapter 8 Spiritual Laughter
119

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About the author (2005)

PATRICK LAUDE is Professor of French at Georgetown University, USA. He is the author of several books including The Way of Poetry: Essays on Poetics and Contemplative Transformation, as well as numerous articles dealing with the relationship between mysticism, symbolism and literature, and important spiritual figures such as Jeanne Guyon, Simone Weil, Louis Massignon and Frithjof Schuon.

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