Tu 04:00-07:00 282 Dwinelle Instructor: Niklaus Largier
So-called ‘mystical’ forms of thought and experience have played a major role in the history of medieval theology and spirituality. They also were of importance to modern authors from Hegel to Georg Lukàcs, Martin Heidegger, Georges Bataille, and Jacques Derrida; and from Novalis to Robert Musil, Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Pierre Klossowski, to John Cage (to name just a few). In this seminar we will read and discuss medieval key texts written by Ps. Dionysius Areopagita, Eckhart of Hochheim (Meister Eckhart), Henry Suso, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch of Antwerp, and Angela Foligno, some of the most significant medieval figures in this tradition. Depending on student interest we can add other authors to this list, e.g., Bernhard of Clairvaux, William of Saint Thierry, Hugh and Richard of Saint Victor. During a second phase of the seminar we will turn our attention to baroque mysticism, especially Angelus Silesius and Jacob Böhme. Based on the class discussion and on individual student interests, we will then look into the ways how these texts have been read by 19th and 20th century authors and explore the impact they had on the formation of modern concepts of (and discussions about) subjectivity, affect, and agency. Depending on student interests, we will decide on a final version of the syllabus at the first meeting of class.