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Publisher's Summary

Each of the great three Abrahamic religious traditions holds the seeds for deep mystical contemplation. But what do most of us know about these mystics and the tradition they sustained? Explore this spiritual, literary, and intellectual heritage in these great faiths of the West as it unfolds over three millennia with these 36 enlightening, thought-provoking lectures that offer nearly unprecedented access to these seldom-studied traditions. By laying the mystical traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam side by side, Professor Johnson offers a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the many forms of religious experience in the West. Starting with the most ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible, Professor Johnson traces the emergence, growth, and persistence of mystical thought in many countries and in many ages. Bringing together the disciplines of philosophy, history, literature, and religious studies, these lectures offer a nuanced and insightful examination of Western spirituality-one that contributes not only to a fuller understanding of our religious traditions, but to our shared culture and history as well.

As you examine the mystical experience, you'll see how, again and again, Western mystics have sought the answers to a few fundamental questions: What is the nature of reality? What is the relationship between humankind and the divine? Can human beings ever attain full knowledge of creation? What emerges from exploring these potent spiritual and intellectual questions is a picture of Western mysticism as diverse, multifaceted, and ever-developing.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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Powerful perspective

The course gives a powerful perspective of the three major monotheistic religions. It is very balanced and extremely respectful.
As a member of one of these mystical traditions, it was thrilling to hear about the other traditions, to witness the similarities and differences, but mostly feel great respect to fellow members of mystical traditions. It was also interesting to hear about my own tradition in a broad perspective.

13 people found this helpful

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Very Good History of Mystics

This is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening survey of the history, development and teachings within the Mystic tradition of these three world religions. I was amazed (enjoyed) the similarity of experience of each faith's mystics as well as each's different perspective on the mystic experience.

This was one of the best descriptions of "Mysticism" from a person who is not a mystic. Dr. Johnson does a good job describing a mystic without rendering his own judgement on mystic. This is someone that I rarely see in the other critiques of mystic. Even some mystic define mysticism to narrowly and if every other mystic has to conform to their image or trod their path. For a non-mystic to give an unbiased and honest characterization is refreshing to me. If all historians and theologians took Dr. Johnson's approach there would be a great understanding and acceptance of mystics and mysticism -- all a lot fewer dead mystics.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about mysticism.

9 people found this helpful

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Good for the topic

This is a good overview of more religious people in the three religions. Best to think of it as an historical perspective of mysticism, which is what I wanted.

11 people found this helpful

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Marvelous, though somewhat biased

Loved 98% of it. kind of hated the moral superiority & close-mindedness of the final chapter, and here & there the bias of his snarky "oogy boogy" & the ableism in his discussion of mental & physical health.

2 people found this helpful

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I was looking for a thorough explanation

What I got was just quotation from the various people without much explanation of what the specific quotes meant.

4 people found this helpful

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Not sure why I finished

There were some interesting details but I was unhappy with it overall. If the author had to become either Jewish, Christian, or Islamic it would definitely be Islamic. I'm not even convinced the author's not Islamic already. Very slanted.

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  • JK
  • 04-15-22

OUTSTANDING!!

By far one of the best lectures of the “Great Courses” I have ever listened to.
Professor Johnson is passionate and deeply committed to present Mysticism to his students. I learned so much more about the rich traditions in Judaism and Islam.
I definitely will listen to more of his lectures.
My wish is that Audible will make more of his courses available to us.
My thanks to all involved, JK.

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Indepth Mysticism

The indepth mystical education I was searching for. I will be reading all the associated readings mentioned by the author. Hus tone was enthusiastic and kept me listening to more lectures. I wish that he had gotten proper pronunciation training for the Islamic section.

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Better than I dared to expect!

Lecturer's enthusiasm for his subject added greatly to my enjoyment - far from dry or blase.
Very few titles are included on this subject, sadly. I was very happy to find it and impressed with the quality.
A few mispronunciations and imperfect edits did not distract (much).
Very good, interesting program...Thanks!

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informative

this was an informative series of lectures. i was impressed with the scholar who presented this series. i have always grappled with mysticism and this series provided me with enough information and incentives to probe even further into this subject.

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  • Noora
  • 09-11-19

Brief overview Engaging

Generally it was a good series of lectures. Occasionally I thought his biases came through or he used a weak source.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-21-22

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Great content. The lecturer has the habit of making ill timed pauses, which would be ok if not for the deesser making this breaks completly silent. Many times I thought the recording had broken off suddenly, only for the lecture to continue right away. Other than that, brilliant.

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  • romeo2u2001
  • 05-09-19

A well structured presentation of mysticism

I enjoyed listening to this piece of work but it took me long to complete it. This is mainly due to the complexity of the subject, vocabulary and language that was employed. I easily switched off or lost concentration, which is essential when listening to these lectures. Nontheless, I feel that I have gained a great deal in terms of information and inspiration for further studies.

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  • Peter
  • 04-27-17

Totally engaging on a difficult topic

Loved it, but it took quite some concentration to get through it all. Definitely worth the effort and I will be re-listening yet again soon.

1 person found this helpful