Mystics: Presence and Aporia

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Michael Kessler, Christian Sheppard
University of Chicago Press, 2003 M11 15 - 254 pages
When we speak of mystics, we normally think of people who have confessed extraordinary experiences of divine presence. But mysticism can also refer to the ways that people have described and explained such phenomena—ways that challenge our normal modes of thinking and believing. And the study of mystics can show problems inherent to experience and language—how to speak and think about what affects people but lies beyond language or thought.

Mystics presents a collection of previously unpublished essays by prominent scholars that consider both the idea of mystics and mysticism. The contributors offer detailed discussions of a variety of mystics from history, including Dionysius the Areopagite, Thomas Aquinas, Joan of Arc, Nicholas of Cusa, Saint Teresa of Avila, Martin Luther, and George Herbert. Essays on mysticism in George Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, and contemporary technology bring the volume into the twenty-first century.

For anyone interested in the state of current thinking about mysticism, this collection will be an essential touchstone.

Thomas A. Carlson, Alexander Golitzin, Kevin Hart, Amy Hollywood, Michael Kessler, Jean-Luc Marion, Bernard McGinn, Françoise Meltzer, Susan Schreiner, Regina M. Schwartz, Christian Sheppard, David Tracy

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The Place of Negative Theology in the Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagites
Thomas Aquinas and Ontotheology
The Trial of Joan of Arc
Nicholas of Cusas Trinitarian Mysticism
The Problem of Deception in Martin Luther and Teresa of Avila
Herberts Mystical Eucharist
Mysticism and Catastrophe in Georges Batailles Atheological Summa
The Experience of Nonexperience
Locating the Mystical Subject
A Reflection on Mystics Presence and Aporia
List of Contributors

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About the author (2003)

Michael Kessler has taught at Purdue University and the University of Chicago.

Christian Sheppard is a lecturer in the Basic Program at the University of Chicago.

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