This is a guide to mysticism: one of the most enduring and fascinating aspects of religious life, and one of the most difficult to unpick. Mysticism is one of the most enduring and fascinating aspects of religious life, and one of the most difficult to unpick. It has, over the centuries, inspired many of the leading figures in different faiths to seek a sense of union with God or with the spiritual forces in the universe, and is increasingly part of the spiritual mainstream. Designed for students grappling with this complicated area, this will enable readers to understand the nature of mysticism, and to examine in detail the traditional methods used by mystics in seeking an intimate understanding of the spiritual world. Including a detailed survey of mystical trends within all the main world religions, and case studies of the lives of important mystics, "Mysticism: A Guide for the Perplexed" also examines the nature of the mystical lifestyle, and examines the extent to which ordinary people can develop a sense of personal mysticism.
"Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Paul Oliver is principal lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield.
Introduction; Part I: What is Mysticism?; 1. The Concept of Mysticism; 2. Approaches Used by Mystics; 3. Life Styles of Mystics; Part II: The Traditions of Mysticism; 4. Buddhist Mysticism; 5. Sufism; 6. The Nature Mysticism of Taoism and Shinto; 7. Christian Mysticism; 8. Kabbalah; 9. Hindu Mysticism; 10. Sikh and Jain Mysticism.; Part III: The Purpose of Mysticism; 11. The Mystical Goal; 12. Mystical and Orthodox Traditions; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.