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Lecture: Daniel Acke, ‘Divergent ways of non-religious mysticism in French literature and thinking of the twentieth century: a search for their philosophical presuppositions’ – 30 March 2017

March 21st, 2017 | Posted by admin in Events | News

On March 30th, 2017, in the context of ETHU’s PhD Seminar, Prof. dr. Daniel Acke (HARP-CLIC) will give a lecture on the following topic:

Title: Divergent ways of non-religious mysticism in French literature and thinking of the twentieth century: a search for their philosophical presuppositions

Abstract: We explore the phenomenon of non-religious mysticism, defined by ecstatic experiences and persistent spiritual quests without specific religious content, in the context of French  twentieth-century literature and philosophy. We think of authors from multiple backgrounds as Marcel Proust, Romain Rolland, George Bataille, Emmanuel Levinas, Eugène Ionesco, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Yves Bonnefoy, Clément Rosset, André Comte-Sponville, among others. After a brief survey of the historical conditions of natural mysticism and a description of its principal caracteristics, we question the conditions and salient features of its literary expression. It is precisely the interpretation of some ego-documents, which are a kind of secularised conversion narratives, that allow us to point what we believe to be the main philosophical presuppositions of natural mysticism. Our thesis is that natural mysticism should be understood in a perpetual tension between immanence and transcendence, sense and non-sense and  the self and otherness. These polarities throw light on the divergent ways of natural mysticism in the French literature and philosophy but can also facilitate a reflexion on the ethical significance of the phenomenon.

Time: 13-15h

Location: VUB, Campus Etterbeek, room 5/C402