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Holiness East and West

Denise Lardner Carmody and the late John Tully Carmody

Publication Date - 01 February 1996

ISBN: 9780195088199

336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Mysticism is pervasive throughout the religions of the world, yet varies widely in its particulars. This comprehensive work surveys the mystical dimension of the world's major religions, beginning with a working description of mysticism as "direct experience of ultimate reality," and examining how this understanding of mysticism holds up when set in interaction with Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. The authors also examine the religious practices of North American, Latin American, African, and Australian native peoples, illuminating the history, principal beliefs, and teachings of each religion, and examining the lives and works of each tradition's outstanding mystics. The result is a dialogue between the particulars of mystical experience, which vary from tradition to tradition, and the generalities they share which make it possible to discuss mysticism across these traditions. This accessibly written introduction will appeal to students of mysticism, readers seeking mystical experience, and all those interested in religion as practiced throughout the world.


"A brilliant and moving overview of representative moments in the mystical tradition of the world's major religions....More than introducing us to the sacramental, metaphorical language of the mystics and providing a refreshing, liberating, and kaleidoscopic guide to creative self-transformation, Denise and John Carmody share their own spiritual sensitivity with us."--Leonard J. Biallas, Division of Theology and Philosophy, Quincy University

"The best single-volume, popular book to date on mysticism east and west. Erudite, concise, nuanced, balanced, and pellucid, it captures both the mind and heart of the world's great mystical traditions." --Harvey D. Egan, Professor of Systematic and Mystical Theology, Boston College

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Hinduism
    3. Buddhism
    4. Chinese and Japanese Traditions
    5. Jewish Traditions
    6. Christian Traditions
    7. Muslim Traditions
    8. Mysticism among Oral Peoples
    9. Conclusion