APA Eastern: Phenomenology and Mysticism (2023)

To be held at the APA Eastern 2023, 1/4/2023 – 1/7/2023, in Montreal, Quebec   

This panel will explore and develop a phenomenological analysis of mystical religious experience within the traditions of Buddhism (and Eastern Mysticism generally), Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  High-quality, well-researched papers that emphasize not only the relation to the divine (verticality) but also the community (horizontality) would be welcome.  Questions and topics that could be pursued would be the following:  How does Heidegger’s writing on Paul’s letters and on “stretching” in Being and Time suggest an approach to the mysticism of Julian of Norwich or Meister Eckhart?  How does Husserl’s emphasis on intersubjectivity and the life-world allow for a reflection on Thich Nhat Hahn or the Sufi tradition?  Using Edith Stein and Hedwig Conrad-Martius, how might the discussion of writing on the heart, in both Deuteronomy and the Gospels, and of the writing of the finger of God, help us reconfigure what it means to share religious experience together?  With such kinds of questions and explorations, the goal of the panel is to make progress on the phenomenology of religious experience by way of careful, phenomenological analysis of important texts in the history of spirituality and religion.  Papers grounded in Edmund Husserl, Edith Stein, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Derrida, etc. that elucidate and interrogate either figures like Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, Thich Nhat Hahn, Julian of Norwich, or seminal religious texts such as the Koran, the Torah, etc. would be helpful in achieving this goal.

Abstracts of approx. 300 words should be submitted for blind review by July 30, 2021. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by August 10, 2021. All papers, and any questions, should be sent to the panel organizers at dr.petercostello@gmail.com

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