Mysticism is pervasive throughout the religions of the world, yet varies widely in its particulars. This comprehensive work surveys the mystical dimension of the world's major religions, beginning with a working description of mysticism as "direct experience of ultimate reality," and examining how this understanding of mysticism holds up when set in interaction with Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. The authors also examine the religious practices of North American, Latin American, African, and Australian native peoples, illuminating the history, principal beliefs, and teachings of each religion, and examining the lives and works of each tradition's outstanding mystics. The result is a dialogue between the particulars of mystical experience, which vary from tradition to tradition, and the generalities they share which make it possible to discuss mysticism across these traditions. This accessibly written introduction will appeal to students of mysticism, readers seeking mystical experience, and all those interested in religion as practiced throughout the world.
Provides a theory of mysticism as a direct encounter with ultimate reality and surveys mysticism in Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the traditional religious cultures of oral peoples in North America, Latin America, Australia, and Africa. Illuminates the history and teachings of each religion, and examines the lives and works of each tradition's outstanding mystics, touching on subjects such as yoga, prophecy, and shamanism. For undergraduates and general readers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)