Chosen by the Spirits

Lee Irwin

in Teaching Mysticism

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751198
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918782 | DOI:

Series: AAR Teaching Religious Studies Series

Chosen by the Spirits

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This chapter surveys several distinct paradigms of mystical knowledge among Native American visionaries. These paradigms will be contextualized in terms of various expressive, semiotic aspects of Native American cultures, such as in art, ritual, music, and communal activity. The basis of this comparison, its epistemological sources, will be organized around the visionary experience as a mystical encounter resulting in revelatory knowledge that supports a creative context for the emergence of new visionary teachings. The sharing of visionary narratives is linked to pedagogy in order to demonstrate a variety of approaches to teaching this kind of material. Oral traditions, including a discussion of verbal art and visual presentation, will be linked to pedagogical theory that is both multisensory and involves an evocative use of imagination as inseparable from a vivid understanding of native religions. It also addresses the problem of mysticism as a nonnative category

Keywords: Native American; mysticism; visionaries; oral traditions; prophetic

Chapter.  7678 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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