Call for papers for the Mysticism & Lived Experience Network’s
Annual Conference, Online 12th-15th June, 2023
Mystics who suffered, through illness, asceticism, the withdrawal of divine grace, the ruthlessness of their critics, or just from the harshness of life, often dominate our readings of the texts of and about mystics. While these are crucial aspects of their experience, what is often overlooked are the moments of happiness and contentment that also exist in these works. The M&LEN 2023 Annual Conference will answer Amy Hollywood’s call to not only speak of suffering and pain in relation to female mystical lives, but also of joy. We will be exploring the “lighter” moments, looking at how mystical texts discuss happiness, joy, amusement, playfulness, and the enjoyment of life, as well as how pain and suffering are transformed into joy in some works.
We welcome papers on subjects including but not limited to: •Expressions of joy
•Positive emotions in response tonegative experiences
•Release from worldly bonds
•The sexualisation of mystical joy
It is our hope that this year’s papers will also be expanded into contributions to an edited collection on this theme. Accepted proposals will be organised into workshopping groups in order to share theirprogress with the other speakers in their session, and to work towards cohesion of theme.
With this in mind, we seek proposals for 15-20-minute papers, exploring the theme of amusement, joy, and having a good time in mystical texts, as well as for a chapter on the same them. Please submit abstracts for each, of up to 500wordseach, along with a brief biographyto AJLangley and Einat Klafter at firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 October 2022.
The Mysticism & Lived Experience Network is dedicated to supporting the study of the lived experiences of medieval mystics and visionaries. The network brings together scholars from diverse fields whose research examines how the personal and the biographical contribute to the spiritual and theological outlook of individual mystics and holy persons.
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