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CFP: Mysticism in Comparative Perspective

Mysticism in Comparative Perspective


Glasgow University 14th-16th December 2016

Speakers to include:
Rob Faesen (Leuven)

William Franke (Vanderbilt)

Bernard McGinn (Chicago)

George Pattison (Glasgow)

Ada Rapoport-Albert (King’s College, London)

Jane Shaw (Stanford)

Mia Spiro (Glasgow)

At the start of the 20th century, it was widely believed that there was some unitary ‘mystical experience’ underlying the varieties of religious and doctrinal expression. On this view, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Sufi all had the ‘same’ experience and only differed in their manner of expressing it. By the end of the century this kind of comparativism had fallen into disrepute. Nevertheless, dialogue between faiths would seem to be significantly imperilled if no shared experiential or practical points of unity can be identified. Drawing on recent research, the conference seeks to renew the project of a comparative study of mysticism and in doing so to offer resources for both teaching and research in theology and religious studies.

Proposals under the following headings are especially welcome: Methodology, Annihilation, Love/Union, Material Culture, and Syncretism.

Proposals for Papers must be sent by September 15th to (Acceptances will be notified by end-September.)

The conference will incorporate the Astaire Seminar in Jewish Studies ‘Wandering Souls’ with papers by Ada Rapoport-Albert and Mia Spiro.

For more information, see the Mystical Theology Network Website: