Allan Stoekl

in Prismatic Ecology

Published by University of Minnesota Press

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780816679973
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781452948737 | DOI:

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The Carthusian monks are an ancient and venerable order, founded by St. Bruno in 1084 at what is still their main abbey today, the Grande Chartreuse in the Chartreuse Mountains, Jura, France. The monks spend their days in prayer and quiet meditation. They live a life of solitude, with virtually no contact with others outside of the early morning chanting and the later morning Mass, and even that with no conversation, no looking, and spend many hours alone in a cell pursuing their private spiritual practices. Who would demand such a claustrophobic, rigorous, even perhaps rigid, yet free set of practices? This chapter argues that the rigor of the Carthusian monastery is ideally suited to a person with autism, or Asperger’s syndrome. It explains the link between autism and the sublime. It discusses how the Carthusians may point the way to another sublime, to another hue in the autistic ecological spectrum: the color chartreuse.

Keywords: Carthusian monks; chartreuse; autism; autistic sublime; Asperger’s syndrome

Chapter.  9171 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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