Special Issue of Religions: Asceticism, Mysticism, and the Affirmation of the World in Christianity and Islam. Issue editors: Rico G. Monge, University of San Diego, and Elliott Bazzano, Le Moyne College
This Special Issue of Religions focuses on the relationship between ascetic practices and mystical theological traditions in the world’s two largest religions, Christianity and Islam. While quality scholarship exists exploring the connections between asceticism and mysticism, these two distinct areas are too often set in opposition to each other instead of focusing on the relationship between ascetic practices and mystical thought as well as experience. This is especially true of Islam, where mysticism is commonly relegated to a peripheral status, and, even more problematic, Islam is regularly portrayed as a nonascetic religion. In both religions, asceticism and mysticism are both often identified as world-rejecting or escapist phenomena, with the role that both play in engaging and affirming the world remaining undertheorized and underexplored.
This issue seeks articles that explore any or all of the following: (1) connections between asceticism and mysticism in either or both religions that have been largely ignored; (2) forms of asceticism and mysticism with world-affirming trajectories or teloi; and/or (3) comparative approaches that contribute to theoretical understandings of asceticism and mysticism. While comparative theological approaches (such as those pioneered by Francis X. Clooney) are particularly encouraged, all methodological approaches in the fields of religious studies and theology are welcome.
Manuscript submissions due August 31, 2023. Interested authors should submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words prior to submitting a manuscript.