Introduction to World Mysticism

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Central to many cultural trends is mysticism—a vague word that can be translated as "the spiritual principle at the heart of religion." Many people believe mysticism is the golden thread that unites all the world's religions, while others scoff at the idea. Decide for yourself in this class as we explore major themes and writings from the world's great mystical traditions. Using Phyllis Zagano's Mysticism and the Spiritual Quest: A Crosscultural Anthology as our textbook, we'll examine the wor … [Read more...]

Zen and the Art of Describing World Mysticism

A man named Jason who is currently reading The Big Book of Christian Mysticism writes: I am only a few chapters in, but I do already have a question. When talking about mystical streams in other religions you bring up Zen in Buddhism. Why Zen? I would think that Vajrayana would be a better fit. It is Vajrayana that Ken Wilbur usually turns to when discussing the great mystical tradition in Buddhism.It is within Vajrayana that you have the doctrine of Zhen-Tong or "empty of other". In this … [Read more...]

Register now for Evening at Emory Spring 2010

Online registration is now open for Evening at Emory's Spring 2010 classes. I'm teaching the following classes:A Brief History of Everything American philosopher Ken Wilber writes books that combine eastern and western spirituality, psychology, biology, cultural theory, and other strands of contemporary thought to create what the author calls “integral theory.” Wilber seeks to bridge the divide between science and religion, explain the dynamics of human consciousness and moral development, and … [Read more...]

Registration now open for “Introduction to World Mysticism”

I'll be teaching my class on World Mysticism through the Emory University Center for Lifelong Learning again, on Wednesday evenings July 22 through August 12. It's a fun class — a whirlwind tour through some of the most luminous spiritual writings from around the world.For more information or to register, click here: http://cll.emory.edu/classes.cfm?cla=-2016892019&pt=3 … [Read more...]

On the Air Today — AM 1690

If you are in the Atlanta area, tune in to AM 1690, WMLB — The Voice of the Arts Radio, today at 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM. The station interviewed several Evening at Emory instructors, and I'm among them. I'm discussing the topic of "world mysticism" in light of the upcoming course I'm teaching on this topic.If you're not in Atlanta or can't tune in today, eventually the talk with be archived online, and I'll provide a link when that happens. … [Read more...]

Introduction to World Mysticism through Evening at Emory!

Register now for INTRODUCTION TO WORLD MYSTICISM This fall through Evening at Emory!Madonna is studying the Kabbalah. The Shack is a runaway bestseller. Seven hundred years after he died, everyone's reading Rumi. Yoga, Buddhism and other eastern practices are more popular among Americans than ever. So what gives? At the heart of all these cultural trends is mysticism, a vague word that can be translated as "the spiritual principle at the heart of religion." Many people believe mysticism is the … [Read more...]

Questions about the Spiritual Life

I received the following set of questions via email this morning; I'm posting them here with the permission of the author: Hi Carl ... I found centering prayer to be a draining experience. I was getting angry at God for not showing up. Should I keep doing it even if nothing ever happens? ... I grew up Roman Catholic and all through my life I have felt guilty for not enjoying reading the spiritual "classics" that you mention on your blog. I come to those kind of books like a homework assignment. … [Read more...]


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