Each of the great three Abrahamic religious traditions holds the seeds for deep mystical contemplation. But what do most of us know about these mystics and the tradition they sustained? Explore this spiritual, literary, and intellectual heritage in these great faiths of the West as it unfolds over three millennia with these 36 enlightening, thought-provoking lectures that offer nearly unprecedented access to these seldom-studied traditions. By laying the mystical traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam side by side, Professor Johnson offers a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the many forms of religious experience in the West. Starting with the most ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible, Professor Johnson traces the emergence, growth, and persistence of mystical thought in many countries and in many ages. Bringing together the disciplines of philosophy, history, literature, and religious studies, these lectures offer a nuanced and insightful examination of Western spirituality-one that contributes not only to a fuller understanding of our religious traditions, but to our shared culture and history as well.
As you examine the mystical experience, you'll see how, again and again, Western mystics have sought the answers to a few fundamental questions: What is the nature of reality? What is the relationship between humankind and the divine? Can human beings ever attain full knowledge of creation? What emerges from exploring these potent spiritual and intellectual questions is a picture of Western mysticism as diverse, multifaceted, and ever-developing.