Throughout the ages and across religious traditions, people have yearned to personally experience God and deeply connect with the Creator. In Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Ori Z. Soltes traces the sweep of mysticism-this search for oneness with God-throughout the three Abrahamic traditions.
This unique comparative overview begins with a definition of mysticism and a discussion of its place within religion as a whole. Soltes then explores the history of mysticism from Biblical times through the present day, highlighting the emergence of mysticism within the three traditions and how beliefs and practices converge and diverge over time. The final chapters discuss the growing interest in mysticism today through practices such as Kabbalah and how people publicly express their private encounters with God through art, literature, and other modern media.
Ori Z. Soltes is Goldman Professorial Lecturer in theology and fine arts at Georgetown University and a regular lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution.
Introduction: What is Mysticism? Chapter 1 The Birth and Development of the Abrahamic Faiths Chapter 2 The Roots of Judaism and Christianity Chapter 3 The Emergence of Jewish Mystical Thought Chapter 4 Early Christian Mysticism Chapter 5 A Third Player on the Stage: Muslim Mysticism from the Qur'an to Ibn 'Arabi Chapter 6 Medieval Jewish Mysticism form Merkavah to Kabbalah Chapter 7 Medieval Christian Mysticism from Assisi to Avila Chapter 8 The Spread of and Variety within Sufism Chapter 9 Variations within Jewish and Christian Mysticism from the Renaissance through Emancipation Chapter 10 Still Searching: The Persistence of Mysticism in the Modern Era Chapter 11 Unfinished Epilogues Suggestions for Further Reading