TTC Video - Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam [Repost]
English | avi | Xvid 640x480 | MP3 2 ch 128 kbps | 18 hrs 12 min | 6.74 GB
eLearning | Course No.6130
Mystical experiences and practices???including dramatic visions, direct communication with the divine, intense spiritual quests, and hermetic lifestyles???are commonly associated with Eastern cultures and thought to be far removed from the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But consider the following:
- Many of the most important figures in the Jewish Bible had experiences that can be interpreted as mystical, including Moses's conversation with God as the burning bush, Joseph's prophetic dreams, and Ezekiel's vision of the heavenly throne-chariot.
- Jesus Christ, as a figure believed to be the incarnation of God, can be seen as representing the ultimate goal of mystical thought, the unification of human with divine.
- The Islamic prophet Muhammad is believed to have experienced the call of God directly through the angel Gabriel, and throughout his life he reported incidents of mystical encounters, including the divine revelation of the Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam.
In these examples, we encounter a surprising truth: that each of the great three Abrahamic religious traditions???those religions that trace their origins back to the patriarch Abraham???holds the seeds for deep mystical contemplation. Over the course of centuries and even millennia, mystics in all three traditions have written of their experiences in the quest for God. But what do most of us know about these mystics and the tradition they sustained?
In Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, you explore this spiritual, literary, and intellectual heritage in these great faiths of the West as it unfolds over three millennia. In 36 enlightening, thought-provoking lectures, award-winning Professor Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University offers nearly unprecedented access to these seldom-studied traditions. Through poetry, diaries, philosophical writings, and histories, you gain a fresh perspective on the great Abrahamic religious faiths that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of these important traditions.
A Rare Glimpse into the Heart of Religious Experience
Professor Johnson provides you with a perspective on the Abrahamic religions that is surprising and enlightening. Students of religion rarely get the chance to examine the entire scope of mysticism in the West in a single course. 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.
What emerges is a picture of Western mysticism as diverse, multifaceted, and ever-developing. 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, Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam offers 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 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 Is Mysticism?
But what do we mean when we speak of Western mysticism? What forms does mysticism take in the three Abrahamic faiths, and what sorts of rewards and information does it provide?
As Professor Johnson shows, there is no single or simple definition of mysticism. In some traditions, it is rooted in intellectual discipline???the exploration of philosophical inquiries into the nature of reality through scholarship and debate. In others, it's based in devotion to prayer and fasting as a way to discipline the body and soul to focus wholly on God. In still others, it's defined by ecstatic experience???a glimpse of the divine given as a gift from above that cannot be controlled or even fully described by the mystic.
Just consider these diverse instances of mysticism, which represent the different styles and methods of mystical practice:
- The writings of Jewish Kabbalah mystic Rabbi Abulafia, whose work includes practical directions for the achievement of religious ecstasy
- The practice of hesychasm, through which medieval Christians used the repetition of the "Jesus prayer" to evoke a stillness in body and soul and invite divine revelation
- The theological texts of Jalal ad-Din Rumi, a Muslim scholar who explored the mystical implications of love through breathtaking poetry
What these diverse traditions share is an intense desire to experience the divine. In some cases, this highly individual quest aligns with the shared practices of the faith???as when Christian monks in medieval monasteries used prayer and contemplation to enhance their spiritual lives. In others, mystics find themselves in tension with the dominant tradition???as seen in the case of the Islamic Sufi mystics, whose asceticism developed in opposition to the tenets of the faith as practiced by the larger community.
But what all these traditions share is a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge of God as the heart of religious experience and the very core of what it means to be human.
Memorable Lives, Lyrical Utterances
Mystical Tradition introduces you to the many faces of mysticism, from renowned scholars to simple people striving for personal enlightenment, throughout the centuries.
Along the way, you encounter the fascinating stories of mystics???both famous and obscure???whose quest for knowledge resonates today:
- The 11th-century Sufi mystic al-Ghazzali, whose spiritual crisis led him to abandon a successful university career to pursue a life of asceticism and contemplation.
- Teresa of Avila, one of three female doctors of the Roman Catholic Church, whose harrowing and mystical vision of hell led her to found a more rigorous form of monastic life.
- Abraham Isaac Kook, a 20th-century rabbi whose work forged a fascinating connection between the scientific theory of evolution and Kabbalah
You also hear about the less renowned, everyday people who followed the mystical tradition through daily devotions and community life, from Jewish Hasidic communities that arose in the 18th century to the 16th-century Anabaptists, whose attempts to live a newly reformed, mystically focused form of Protestant Christianity led to their persecution.
These lives emerge from the writings they left behind???touching personal diaries, historical accounts of visions and revelations, theological commentaries, and lyrical poems of great beauty. Using firsthand sources, Professor Johnson explores the various roles writing has played in mysticism and provides memorable, moving examples of the great literature produced by this vast spiritual tradition, including such famed pieces as St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of Brother Sun" and remarkable excerpts from the wisdom literature of a 9th-century female Sufi mystic.
Contemplate the Nature of Spirituality
You also contemplate questions about the nature of mysticism itself: How are we to understand mysticism???as literally true, as poetically true, or as a delusion? Will mysticism survive in an increasingly secular world? What is the future of mysticism? As it becomes detached and popularized apart from its religious faiths, can mystical observances retain their original character?
The course also offers a thought-provoking perspective on the nature of human spirituality. As Professor Johnson demonstrates, mystical strains of thought have permeated and influenced these three great religions for centuries, despite opposition from???and, in some cases, persecution by???the mainstream religious community. As you come to see, this persistence in the face of persecution reflects something about human nature: the need to pursue ultimate knowledge and union with a transcendent power.
A Unique Opportunity
For most students, this is a unique opportunity. Many of the sources Professor Johnson draws on???from ancient Hebrew meditations to medieval Muslim philosophical texts to early Christian Gnostic writings???are unavailable to general readers. Some of them have only recently been translated into English. Professor Johnson's course offers for nonspecialists what in many cases is a first-time glimpse into this tradition.
A noted religious scholar and former Benedictine monk, Professor Johnson offers an intriguing, enlightening look into these seldom-studied traditions and illuminates the rich and complex relationship between mystical contemplation and the Western traditions of faith. He also helps you understand how these various traditions have contributed to faith, philosophy, and daily life over the centuries.
But perhaps most important, he invites you to join him as you ponder a new way to understand faith, religion, and the essence of humanity. Explore with Professor Johnson the intriguing and enriching insights that await you in Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
1 A Way into the Mystic Ways of the West
2 Family Resemblances and Differences
3 The Biblical Roots of Western Mysticism
4 Mysticism in Early Judaism
5 Merkabah Mysticism
6 The Hasidim of Medieval Germany
7 The Beginnings of Kabbalah
8 Mature Kabbalah???Zohar
9 Isaac Luria and Safed Spirituality
10 Sabbatai Zevi and Messianic Mysticism
11 The Ba'al Shem Tov and the New Hasidism
12 Mysticism in Contemporary Judaism
13 Mystical Elements in the New Testament
14 Gnostic Christianity
15 The Spirituality of the Desert
16 Shaping Christian Mysticism in the East
17 Eastern Monks and the Hesychastic Tradition
18 The Mysticism of Western Monasticism
19 Medieval Female Mystics
20 Mendicants as Mystics
21 English Mystics of the 14th Century
22 15th- and 16th-Century Spanish Mystics
23 Mysticism among Protestant Reformers
24 Mystical Expressions in Protestantism
25 20th-Century Mystics
26 Muhammad the Prophet as Mystic
27 The House of Islam
28 The Mystical Sect???Shi'a
29 The Appearance of Sufism
30 Early Sufi Masters
31 The Limits of Mysticism???Al-Ghazzali
32 Two Masters, Two Streams
33 Sufism in 12th???14th Century North Africa
34 Sufi Saints of Persia and India
35 The Continuing Sufi Tradition
36 Mysticism in the West Today
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