Chapter

Introduction

in Sensible Ecstasy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780226349510
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226349466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226349466.003.0001
Introduction

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This book highlights mysticism of twentieth-century fascination with its emotional, bodily, and excessive forms, as well as how mysticism plays a crucial role in the work of other secular twentieth-century French intellectuals. It focuses on a feminized and embodied figure of the medieval and early modern mystic, and the work it performs, both epistemologically and affectively, for these secular, twentieth-century intellectuals. The meaning of the woman mystic's experience, especially her bodily experience, has been discussed with regard to competing interpretations and claims to authority. The difference between feminine and masculine types of mysticism is rendered more problematic by the fact that the most visionary and ecstatic mystics usually include within their texts the call for a move through the visionary to another kind of more ineffable experience of union with the divine. Thus, feminism needs to find a place for the rituals that help human beings sustain loss and support subjectivity.

Keywords: mysticism; French intellectuals; feminism; subjectivity; woman mystic's experience

Chapter.  9160 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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