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Critical Notice Ecumenicalism and Perennialism Revisited

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2008

Matthew C. Bagger
Affiliation:
600 West 122nd Street, New York

Extract

Recently Robert Forman has attempted to muster support for the largely abandoned position that mystical experiences cross-culturally include an unmediated, non-relative core. To reopen the debate he has solicited essays from likeminded scholars for his book, The Problem of Pure Consciousness. Predictably the focus of the volume rests on the refutation of the position most notably expounded by Steven Katz in his influential article of 1978, ‘Language, Epistemology and Mysticism’.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1991

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References

1 Katz, Steven T., ‘Language, Epistemology, and Mysticism’, Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 29.Google Scholar

2 In this article I refer frequently to the term ‘protective strategy’ which I borrow from Wayne Proudfoot's book Religious Experience. I have tried to employ the term in the same sense as in his work.

3 Forman, Robert K. C., ‘Introduction: Mysticism, Constructivism, and Forgetting’, The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 4.Google Scholar

4 Katz, , p. 26.Google Scholar

5 Bernhardt, Stephen, ‘Are Pure Consciousness Events Unmediated?’ The Problem of Pure Consciousness, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 227.Google Scholar

6 Katz, , p. 56.Google Scholar

7 Katz, , p. 26.Google Scholar

8 Forman, , p. 16.Google Scholar

9 Katz, , p. 26.Google Scholar

10 Almond, Philip, ‘Mysticism and Its Contexts’, The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 216.Google Scholar

11 Forman, , p. 13.Google Scholar

12 Forman, , p. 14.Google Scholar

13 Forman, , p. 15.Google Scholar

14 Forman, , p. 40.Google Scholar

15 Forman, , p. 17.Google Scholar

16 Forman, , p. 42.Google Scholar

17 Forman, , p. 19.Google Scholar

18 Forman, , p. 8.Google Scholar

19 I refer to the chapter entitled ‘Explication’ in Religious Experience.

20 In perhaps the least convincing article of the volume, Perovich presumes that Katz's position relies on a Kantian foundation. He then delineates the differences between the constructivist position and Kant and finally concludes that because of the variation from Kant's original work constructivism rests on a mistake. Essentially, Perovich, contrary to his presumption, proves Katz is not Kantian, then uses Katz's departures from Kant as grounds for dismissing constructivism. Perovich fails to consider that constructivism can stand independently of Kant.

21 Katz, , p. 47.Google Scholar

22 Forman, , p. 30.Google Scholar

23 Rothberg, Donald, ‘Contemporary Epistemology and the Study of Mysticism’, The Problem of Pure Consciousness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 181.Google Scholar

24 Katz, , p. 66.Google Scholar

25 Rothberg, , p. 180.Google Scholar

26 Bernhardt, , p. 228.Google Scholar

27 Katz, , p. 46.Google Scholar

28 Forman, , p. 33.Google Scholar

29 Katz, , p. 23.Google Scholar

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