Mysticism and Alienation

Larry L. Rasmussen

in Earth-honoring Faith

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199917006
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980314 | DOI:
Mysticism and Alienation

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This chapter describes the mystical experience as a common human and religious experience. The testimony is often that of an oceanic feeling in which the self belongs to “the All.” The focus of the chapter, however, is on the kind of moral impulse and agency that accompanies the mystical experience. What does immersion into a transcendent reality “do” for repair of the world? If the world is a communion of subjects, as mystics claim, rather than a collection of objects, what follows for the way nature is treated? The brief answer is that alienation from the human self and the rest of nature is overcome. But this entails an extended discussion of the sources of modern alienation and how religious mysticism might constructively address them.

Keywords: the mystical experience; teeming nature; meditation; moral agency; interbeing; Descartes; Marx

Chapter.  8350 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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