Teaching Mysticism (AAR Teaching Religious Studies)

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9780199751198: Teaching Mysticism (AAR Teaching Religious Studies)

The term ''mysticism'' has never been consistently defined or employed, either in religious traditions or in academic discourse. The essays in this volume offer ways of defining what mysticism is, as well as methods for grappling with its complexity in a classroom.

This volume addresses the diverse literature surrounding mysticism in four interrelated parts. The first part includes essays on the tradition and context of mysticism, devoted to drawing out and examining the mystical element in many religious traditions. The second part engages traditions and religio-cultural strands in which ''mysticism'' is linked to other terms, such as shamanism, esotericism, and Gnosticism. The volume's third part focuses on methodological strategies for defining ''mysticism,'' with respect to varying social spaces. The final essays show how contemporary social issues and movements have impacted the meaning, study, and pedagogy of mysticism.

Teaching Mysticism presents pedagogical reflections on how best to communicate mysticism from a variety of institutional spaces. It surveys the broad range of meanings of mysticism, its utilization in the traditions, the theories and methods that have been used to understand it, and provides critical insight into the resulting controversies.

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About the Author:


William B. Parsons is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University. His publications include The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling, Religion and Psychology: Mapping the Terrain, Mourning Religion, Disciplining Freud on Religion, and dozens of essays in multiple journals and edited books. He has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University, Director of the Rice University Humanities Research Center, Editor of Religious Studies Review, and has been a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) at Hebrew University.

Review:


"Parsons has succeeded to bring together some of the most important established authorities on mystical traditions, together with emerging authorities, and cover an impressively varied and broad range of subfields within the study of mysticism, esotericism, and Gnosticism." -- Religious Studies Review


"Teaching Mysticism is a timely and welcome volume that will be appreciated by instructors who seek to make the study of mysticism available to their students... [E]ach chapter addresses issues both theoretical and practical, and can be applied to those interested in developing full courses or single class sessions on specific topics... Highly accessible, and intended for use in many possible ways, this book offers a model for scholarship on teaching in the discipline." --Bernadette McNary-Zak, Rhodes College


"This lucid and thoughtful volume, with contributions by numerous highly respected scholars of mysticism, offers readers a much needed overview of many of the most important theoretical and practical issues that arise when teaching mysticism in various institutional settings. Concise and insightful essays discuss how to craft courses on mysticism in several different religious traditions, and reflect on a wide range of crucial topics in the pedagogy of teaching mysticism. This volume is academic scholarship at its best: both theoretically astute and grounded in praxis." ---G. William Barnard, Professor of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University


"Teaching Mysticism is an ambitious project that includes reflective essays by renowned scholars of a variety of traditions and methodological approaches to the study of mysticism. Each scholar reflects on his or her discipline paying special attention to how they teach mysticism in the classroom. This work offers the reader a window into the teaching methods of some of the most creative minds in the study of religion. Teaching Mysticism is a great resource for those who teach mysticism and for those who teach and study religion more generally."---Shaul Magid, author of From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Lurianic Kabbalah


"Teaching Mysticism is much more than a book exploring mysticism. Stepping into uncharted territory, it stands at the beginning of a new and burgeoning interest in reshaping the way the academy addresses the topic of religion-especially religion as a practice rather than simply an object of study. This new collection of 'how to' articles for teaching mysticism is ground-breaking and fills a much-needed lacuna in pedagogical materials."---Loriliai Biernacki, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder


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Book Description Book Condition: New. Oxford University Press, 2012. 320p. Hardback. Series: AAR Teaching Religious Studies. Parsons has succeeded to bring together some of the most important established authorities on mystical traditions, together with emerging authorities, and cover an impressively varied and broad range of subfields within the study of mysticism, esotericism, and Gnosticism. Religious Studies Review (Publisher's information). Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 40066

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