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Mysticism and Intellect in Medieval Christianity and Buddhism

Ascent and Awakening in Bonaventure and Chinul

Mysticism and Intellect in Medieval Christianity and Buddhism

Ascent and Awakening in Bonaventure and Chinul

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Hardback

£98.00

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781793600707
Number of Pages: 300
Published: 09/03/2020
Width: 16 cm
Height: 23 cm
This book explores two influential intellectual and religious leaders in Christianity and Buddhism, Bonaventure (c. 1217–74) and Chinul (1158–1210), a Franciscan theologian and a Korean Zen master respectively, with respect to their lifelong endeavors to integrate the intellectual and spiritual life so as to achieve the religious aims of their respective religious traditions. It also investigates an associated tension between different modes of discourse relating to the divine or the ultimate—positive (cataphatic) discourse and negative (apophatic) discourse. Both of these modes of discourse are closely related to different ways of understanding the immanence and transcendence of the divine or the ultimate.



Through close studies of Bonaventure and Chinul, the book presents a unique dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism and between West and East. In the examination of these two figures, religious traditions are explored not only from social, political, cultural, philosophical, and doctrinal perspectives, but also from a perspective that integrates both intellectual and spiritual aspects of religious life. Furthermore, the book presents unexplored models of integrating these two aspects of religious life.

Yongho Francis Lee

Yongho Francis Lee is professor at the Pontifical University of Antonianum.

Yongho Francis Lee has written a fascinating and detailed account of the intellectual and spiritual life in western Christian mysticism and eastern Buddhism. Examining the mystical journey in the medieval Franciscan theologian Bonaventure and the spiritual quest for rebirth in the Buddhist philosopher Chinul, Father Lee uses the Dionysian categories of apophasis and cataphasis to discern the similarities and differences between the Franciscan theologian and the Buddhist scholar. In doing so, he draws out where east meets west and where these spiritual traditions are distinct. This is the type of study critically needed today, especially since the western Christian mystical tradition has in the past overpowered the rich spirituality of the east, and Buddhism in particular. I encourage everyone interested in the mystical quest for ultimate reality to read this book and reflect on the spiritual capacity of the human person, for east needs west and west needs east, if we are to see the human spiritual experience within the unity of cosmic life. -- Ilia Delio, OSF, Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology, Villanova University Yongho Francis Lee's Mysticism and Intellect in Medieval Christianity and Buddhism is an impressive and much-needed contribution to our understanding of spiritual and mystical theology, and thus to the emerging field of comparative theology. He places Saint Bonaventure's Franciscan theology and prayer alongside Master Pojo Chinul's Korean Buddhist wisdom and practice, in order to explore more deeply the tensions between theological learning and contemplative practice, between positive discourse about the divine and what can be experienced only in silence and meditation. We are invited to learn from two great European and Korean thinkers never studied together before-but also to think anew about the integration of religious learning and practice in our time and place. -- Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

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