AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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Defining Mysticism: The issue of definitions – both their content and their utility – has resurfaced as a topic of debate in religious studies, and the phenomena embraced by the rubric “mysticism” present an especially intriguing opportunity for this kind of categorical reflection. Authors are asked to reflect on past, present, and possible new formulations of the category of “mysticism,” including its presumed antitheses, its gendered associations, and its relationship to secular and neoliberal reformulations of the “religious.” We invite papers that consider the question of how “mysticism” has and should be defined, and what the role of a definition of mysticism should be. Papers might propose definitions of mysticism, reflect on past and present engagements with that question, or consider the role of definition itself with regard to mysticism.