In Platonic Mysticism, Arthur Versluisclearly and tautly argues that mysticism must be properly understood as belonging to the great tradition of Platonism. He demonstrates how mysticism was historically understood in Western philosophical and religious traditions and emphatically rejects externalist approaches to esoteric religion. Instead he develops a new theoretical-critical model for understanding mystical literature and the humanities as a whole, from philosophy and literature to art. A sequel to his Restoring Paradise, this is an audacious book that places Platonic mysticism in the context of contemporary cognitive and other approaches to the study of religion, and presents an emerging model for the new field of contemplative science.
“An important work on the mystical experience delving deep into its history, particularly from the Platonic perspective. An essential text for anyone interested in mysticism and its relationship to philosophy and creative expression.” — Andrew Newberg, author of How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation
“The present work, the latest from the pen of Arthur Versluis, provides a trenchant, learned, and illuminating analysis of the origins of Western mysticism in the Platonist tradition, relayed through such figures as Plotinus and Dionysius the Areopagite, down through Meister Eckhart and others, while suitably excoriating the attempts of certain modern philosophers and sociologists of religion to ‘deconstruct’ it from a materialist perspective. I found it a rattling good read!” — John Dillon, author of The Heirs of Plato: A Study of the Old Academy (347–274 BC)