January 2012

Mysticism PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print

Call for Proposals

This Group takes a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to the study of religious experience. We welcome paper and panel proposals on any topic in the study of mysticism, including papers on methodological approaches to the study of mysticism. We are especially interested in the following topics (panel proposals are especially encouraged):

  • The validation and/or condemnation of mystical experience — drawing the differences among mystical experience, self delusion and psychosis)
  • For a possible cosponsorship with the Buddhist Critical–Constructive Reflection Group, mysticism and silence across religious traditions
  • Mysticism and death — physical death or extinction of the ego
  • Mysticism and cosmogony — mystical reflection on the origins of the cosmos
  • Mysticism in Africa and the African diaspora
  • Mystical joy and sorrow


The Mysticism Group began as a Consultation within the AAR in 1987 and achieved formal Group status in 1989. While its early focus was primarily Christianity and Western religions — and the study of experience and textual interpretation within those areas — the Group has grown and changed over time, paralleling the change and growth in the AAR itself. Today, our conversations cut across boundaries that characterize many of the Program Units within the AAR boundaries of discipline, tradition, temporality, and region. Members of our Group use different methodologies and work across a variety of disciplines, among which are the psychology of religion, sociology of religion, history of religions, hermeneutics and textual analysis, biographical analysis, feminist studies, film studies, philosophy of religion, mysticism and science, art criticism, postmodern theory, cultural studies, and anthropology of consciousness, among others. This interdisciplinarity has importance not only to our work as scholars, but also to our work as teachers and public educators. We post our current call, past sessions, and a selection of past papers, as well as links in the field of mysticism to our website at www.aarmysticism.org. We have also started a listserv, and those interested may write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or sign up through the website.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to Chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to Chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection.


Thomas Cattoi
Graduate Theological Union
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Laura Weed
College of Saint Rose
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Method of Submission


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