The Mystical Experience: A Re-Interpretation Through Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Embodiment
Yarbro, Jacqueline O. (Jackie)
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Our bodies allow us to be in the world and form opinions about our experiences through perception and movement. However, this quality goes unnoticed by most becausethe body is considered a natural and normal part of experience. One of the best ways touncover the fundamental nature of the body is it to look at the mystical experience. In this project I will focus on the mystical visions of Hildegard von Bingen. My analysis will examine the way Hildegard’s body was crucial to her ability to interact with the Divine and make sense of her own encounters. Moreover, I will argue that without using the body to describe those visions readers today would not be able to find significant meaning in her mystical teachings. It is my contention that the only manner in which we are able to understand the language of Hildegard’s visions is through our status as embodied individuals. Once we uncover the essential component our bodies play in our understanding of Hildegard we will then be able to discover meanings in her visions and our connections to those teachings.
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Jacqueline O. (Jackie) Yarbro is a member of the Class of 2015 of Washington and Lee University.