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Mystical EEs/EHEs
Record Type: Review   ID: 205

Mystic Union: An Essay in the Phenomenology of Mysticism

Pike, Nelson

 The author, who is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, provides the following summary of the book in his Preface. [In brackets R.A.W. has inserted names of specific people and topics.] "The primary aim of the present book is to provide phenomenological analyses of the several states of union as these states are described and explained in the classical primary literature of the Christian mystical tradition. The first four chapters constitute a data-gathering effort on my part. Here I attempt to arrange the pictures of union provided in the primary mystical texts into a single complex collage. [Varieties of spiritual closeness; full union and rapture; perception of spiritual closeness; and God as lover and mother.] In the next four chapters, I assume a more critical posture and strive to emerge with a phenomenological account that fits the data assembled in the first half of the book. Along the way I probe several of the more important theses that have been advanced in the contemporary philosophical literature on union—for example, the theory defended by Walter Stace concerning the way in which the phrase "union with God" is used in traditional Christian mystical sources. And in three separate essays attached at the end of the text, I attempt to broaden this aspect of my work by discussing some claims put forward by contemporary scholars of Christian mysticism that are mentioned but not examined earlier in the book [R.C. Zaehner, Steven Katz, and Walter Stace]" (p. xiii).
Publisher Information:Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992. 224p. Bibl: 215-217; 2 figs; Index: 219-224
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