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 Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy:

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The 2014 Mystical Theology Conference took place in

Liverpool Hope University


11th-13th July

The conference explored recent and historical developments in the dynamic relationship between mystical theology and continental philosophy.

Issues surrounding the appropriation, elaboration, and re-contextualisation of mystical theology in continental philosophy have risen to prominence through recent engagements with apophaticism from the perspectives of both deconstruction (e.g. Jacques Derrida) and theological critiques of onto-theology (e.g. Jean-Luc Marion).

  • Yet how might these philosophical and theological strands interweave with one another and how coherently or creatively do they relate back to mystical thinkers from antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern era?
  • To what extent is it possible to articulate cogent negative philosophies and post-onto-theological mystical theologies?
  • Are there points at which a turn to the mystical might disguise an appeal to mystification?
  • And to what extent is the post-metaphysical apophatic turn being challenged by a renaissance of speculative thinking in both philosophy and theology?

With such questions in mind, this conference examined the historical and contemporary developments of continental philosophy’s relationship with mysticism along with theology’s own renewed engagement with mystical traditions, particularly as it enters into dialogue with this comparable turn in philosophy.

By exploring points of intersection and divergence, the conference aimed to trace the nature of the relationship between these two disciplines in the hope of moving towards a new awareness of their complementarity and integrity. Furthermore, the conference sought to deepen our understandings of the enduring call of the mystical and the contemporary revival of some ancient and liminal voices.

We are publishing some of the contributions from this conference with Routlege:

The book will be part of two Routledge Series:

Contemporary Theological Explorations in Christian Mysticism (For more information about this series also see MTN publications)
Insections: Continental and Analytic Philosophy

Conference Poster