University of Winchester

ABSTRACTS /June Boyce-Tillman

The mystical experience as reconciliation of the embodied and disembodied

This paper will use the frame developed by a number of contemporary writers on mysticism (King 2001, Poole 2001, Jantzen 1995) but, in particular, Dorothy Soelle (2001) in The Silent Cry: Mysticism and resistance as a lens for examining four women visionaries: Hildegard of Bingen (medieval Benedictine abbess), Margery Kemp (medieval wife and traveller), Julie Billiart (Founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur) and Mother Ann Lee (Founder of the Shakers). It will show how their lives reflect a relationship between prayer/mystical experience and action that challenge constructions of the spiritual experience rooted in the work of William James (1929). It will examine the strands of authority, joy and struggle within the chosen case studies.

Biographical Statement

June Boyce-Tillman is Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester.


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