Contemporary Mysticism: The Quest for Meaning in a Secular World

Panel Discussion September 10, 2007

Moderated by
Ebby Elahi, MD, FACS

Prof. James W. Morris
Dept. of Theology, Boston College

Prof. Jawid Mojaddedi
Dept. of Religion, Rutgers University

Prof. Simon Weightman
Dept. of the Study of Religions, Univeristy of London

Musical Performance by Emmanuel During & Ensemble

The history of humanity is deeply intertwined with a search for transcendence and existential meaning. Yet, the increased modernization of societies has resulted in the distancing of spiritual thought from mainstream pragmatism. Within this secular environment, individual spiritual experience is repeatedly challenged by society and science alike. Modern neuropsychology attributes the mystical experience to biological phenomena, but fails to address the existential angst of genuine seekers. Both scientists and philosophers have long attempted to reconcile these seemingly disparate realms without abandoning rationality or devaluing the significance of subjective experience. The panel will examine the scholarly body of mystical literature, contemporary and ancient, and its relationship to culture and society throughout time.

Location: University Club of New York, One West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019