Longing, Suffering, and Love in Mystical Theory and Practice

July 31, 2015 - August 1, 2015
Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz

Fri afternoon/Sat morning: Domschule, Konstanzer Münster; Sat afternoon: Seminar Room, Mevlana Moschee

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  • American Academy of Religion

Keynote speakers:

Joy Bostic
Case Western Reserve University
Christina Van Dyke
Calvin College


Universität Konstanz
Mohammad Sadegh Zahedi
Imam Khomeini International University

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Organizers:  Amber Griffioen (University of Konstanz); Mohammad Sadegh Zahedi (Imam Khomeini International University)

The German term Sehnsucht refers to a kind of longing, one historically associated with both love and suffering. But how ought we understand Sehnsucht when the object of one's yearning is some sort of transcendent reality? This workshop intends to bring together scholars from various cultural and religious backgrounds to examine the relationship between these and related affective attitudes and stances as they feature specifically in mystical theory and practice. How is suffering thematized in various mystical traditions? Is suffering ultimately viewed as positive? Something to be pursued? Or is mystical practice a means by which one overcomes or frees oneself from suffering? What role does the idea of love play in mysticism? What kinds of metaphors are employed to characterize the loving relationship of the individual to the divine? What role does longing play in these characterizations and how is this related to the mystical subject's understanding of suffering? And how are these ideas realized in mystical practice (e.g., via certain forms of meditation, asceticism, bodily ritual, etc.)?

There is no registration fee for the event, but we ask those interested in attending to pre-register by sending an email to the above address by 25 July, 2015. An optional recreational day on Lake Constance will be offered on August 2. The workshop language is English. Questions may be sent to emo.religion@gmail.com. 

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July 20, 2015, 12:00am CET

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Custom tags:

#mysticism, #emotion, #Sehnsucht, #religious experience