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The 2017 conference was held at Glasgow University 14th-16th December 2016

Speakers included:
Rob Faesen (Leuven)
William Franke (Vanderbilt)
Bernard McGinn (Chicago)
George Pattison (Glasgow)
Ada Rapoport-Albert (UCL)
Jane Shaw (Stanford)
Mia Spiro (Glasgow).

The conference incorporated the Astaire Seminar in Jewish Studies ‘Wandering Souls’ with papers by Ada Rapoport-Albert and Mia Spiro, 5.00-7.00 p.m. on Thursday 15th December.



Read about the Conference in Beshara Magazine here


Theme and Purpose of the Conference
At the start of the 20th century, it was widely believed that there was some unitary ‘mystical experience’ underlying the varieties of religious and doctrinal expression. On this view, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Sufi all had the ‘same’ experience and only differed in their manner of expressing it. By the end of the century this kind of comparativism had fallen into disrepute. Nevertheless, dialogue between faiths would seem to be significantly imperilled if no shared experiential or practical points of unity can be identified. Drawing on recent research, the conference sought to renew the project of a comparative study of mysticism and in doing so to offer resources for both teaching and research in theology and religious studies.

The conference included both panels on themed topics (20 minute presentations) as well as communications on any topic falling within the range of the conference (15-20 minute presentations). Paper included discussed some of the following themes: Methodology, Annihilation, Love/Union, Material Culture, and Syncretism.

A photogallery of the event can be viewed here

(Thank you to our photographer Pol Herrmann: pol.herrmann@gmail.com)

Videos of the Keynote Lectures will be available shortly here

Information about the publications of a number of the papers will be available here shortly