CFP: Longing, Suffering, and Love in Mystical Theory and Practice

Submission deadline: June 1, 2015

Conference date(s):
July 31, 2015 - August 1, 2015

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz
Konstanz, Germany

Topic areas


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 15 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 [email protected]

Call for Abstracts: "Longing, Suffering, and Love in Mystical Theory and Practice"
We invite scholars (including doctoral students) from various academic and religious backgrounds to submit abstracts (in English) of max. 500 words on a topic related to the conference theme by 1 June, 2015. Both historical and systematic papers are welcome. Please send the abstract as a .doc or .pdf file to [email protected].  Papers on topics outside Western Christian religious traditions are especially welcome.  Limited travel funding is available. If you would require travel assistance and/or an official letter of invitation (e.g., for visa purposes), please indicate this in your email.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)


Custom tags:

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