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This course grapples with understanding the sophisticated ways of mystical experience in general. A variety of mystical phenomena from a number of different cultures will be considered as an introduction. The communalities and diversity of the mystic traditions of Islam and Christianity are explored through readings of the foundational works of each. The methods, practices, arts and institutions of Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu mysticism are investigated along with mystical aspects of the non-scriptural religions of Africa, Native America, and Aborigine Australia are studied. Various critiques formulated against mysticism are presented as the post-modern turns towards mysticism. Overall this course will challenge the boundaries of single religious traditions and disclose the nature of the human quest for union with the divine.
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