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Teaching Interreligious Encounters$
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Marc A. Pugliese and Alex Y. Hwang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677565.001.0001

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The Mystic Traveler in a Global Spiritual Age

The Mystic Traveler in a Global Spiritual Age

(p.324) 22 The Mystic Traveler in a Global Spiritual Age
Teaching Interreligious Encounters

Patricia Zimmerman Beckman

Oxford University Press

Global travelers today search for ultimate meaning, and many seek transformation through journeys into interreligious exchange. They share these goals with mystics of old. By immersing themselves in the scholarship of mysticism, religion, and travel before they go, today’s pilgrims can prepare for genuine, life-transforming encounters. Attention to debates about essentialism and constructivism, plural truth claims within and among traditions, and notions of the fluid self prepare them. Traveling mindfully with theory allows them to recognize what analytical baggage they carry while opening them to new experiences. Thoughtful processing upon return can avoid the dangers of shallow interreligious interpretations even while encouraging intercultural exchange. In essence, they reveal the mystic heart of travel.

Keywords:   mysticism, comparative religion, epistemology, travel

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