Yoga, Meditation, and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks

Yoga, Meditation, and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks

By: Kenneth Rose (author)Paperback

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Contemplative experience is central to Hindu yoga traditions, Buddhist meditation practices, and Catholic mystical theology, and, despite doctrinal differences, it expresses itself in suggestively similar meditative landmarks in each of these three meditative systems. In Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism, Kenneth Rose shifts the dominant focus of contemporary religious studies away from tradition-specific studies of individual religious traditions, communities, and practices to examine the 'contemplative universals' that arise globally in meditative experience. Through a comparative exploration of the itineraries detailed in the contemplative manuals of Theravada Buddhism, Patanjalian Yoga, and Catholic mystical theology, Rose identifies in each tradition a moment of sharply focused awareness that marks the threshold between immersion in mundane consciousness and contemplative insight. As concentration deepens, the meditator steps through this threshold onto a globally shared contemplative itinerary, which leads through a series of virtually identical stages to mental stillness and insight. Rose argues that these contemplative universals, familiar to experienced contemplatives in multiple traditions, point to a common spiritual, mental, and biological heritage. Pioneering the exploration of contemplative practice and experience with a comparative perspective that ranges over multiple religious traditions, religious studies, philosophy, neuroscience, and the cognitive science of religion, this book is a landmark contribution to the fields of contemplative practice and religious studies.

About Author

Kenneth Rose is Senior Research Fellow,Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, USA, and Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Christopher Newport University, Virginia, USA. He is the author of Pluralism: The Future of Religion (2013) and Knowing the Real: John Hick on the Cognitivity of Religions and Religious Pluralism (1996) as well as numerous academic articles and reviews.


Table of Figures Acknowledgments Note on Transliteration, Spelling, and Translations Prologue Introduction Part One 1. A New Comparative Religion and the Search for Contemplative Universals 2. Recovering the Mystical in the Reign of Constructivism 3. Biological Essentialism and the New Sciences of Religion Part Two Introduction to Part Two: Charting the Common Itinerary of the Contemplative Experience 153 4. The Concentrative Itinerary of the Buddhist Jhanas 5. The Concentrative Itinerary of Yogic Samadhi 6. The Concentrative Itinerary of Catholic Unio Mystica Conclusion Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781350065260
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 264
  • ID: 9781350065260
  • ISBN10: 1350065269

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