Title

'Normal' Mysticism and the Social World: A Comparative Study of Quaker and Hasidic Communal Mysticism

Date of Award

1976

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

Ephraim H. Mizruchi

Keywords

Inner-worldly mysticism, Community, Ordinary activity

Subject Categories

Religion

Abstract

This dissertation hopes to establish the fact of essential linkages between inner-worldly mysticism, community, and "ordinary" activity. In order to accomplish this task, it is necessary to demonstrate first of all, that elite or other-worldly mysticism ... is but one among several types of mysticism. Secondly, the distinction between mysticism and religion -- valid and important for analytic purposes, may not be rigidly maintained in practice. This distinction in the works of prominent phenomenologists of religion such as Mircea Eliade and Rudolf Otto, for example, constantly breaks down. While ostensibly discussing religion, the paradigms they employ appear to be mystical. Finally, notice must be taken of an essential shift in orientation from objectivity to subjectivity, which occurred in both Western Christian and Jewish mysticism. This shift is reflected in a strong emphasis upon personal experience, the demand for a 'new' perception of one's environment, and a tendency towards transformation, i.e. ritualization, of routine or "profane" actions. All of these manifestations occur within a communal context.

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