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Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding

Authors: Laude, P.

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  • ISBN 978-1-349-53173-8
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About this book

This study in the relationship between religion and the comic focuses on the ways in which the latter fulfils a central function in the sacred understanding of reality of pre-modern cultures and the spiritual life of religious traditions. The central thesis is that figures such as tricksters, sacred clowns, and holy fools play an essential role in bridging the gap between the divine and the human by integrating the element of disequilibrium that results from the contact between incommensurable realities. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural series of essays is devoted to spiritual, anthropological, and literary characters and phenomena that point to a deeper understanding of the various mythological, ceremonial, and mystical ways in which the fundamental ambiguity of existence is symbolized and acted out. Given its interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective, this volume will appeal to scholars from a variety of fields.

About the authors

PATRICK LAUDE is Professor of French at Georgetown University, USA. He is the author of several books including The Way of Poetry: Essays on Poetics and Contemplative Transformation, as well as numerous articles dealing with the relationship between mysticism, symbolism and literature, and important spiritual figures such as Jeanne Guyon, Simone Weil, Louis Massignon and Frithjof Schuon.

Reviews

"Laude's great gift is to uncloak the sacred arena in which our laughter rises to heaven and beyond, for there are we returned to the most human, the free, exalted expression of our divine nature." - David Appelbaum, former editor, Parabola Magazine "How can laughter truly heal? Why are we longing to laugh? Patrick Laude's insightful study demonstrates that laughter can take place where the Absolute and Relative meet - at a perceived incongruity. The divine dimension of human laughter may be a spiritual door predicated on the ability for self-transcendance and is condusive to a detachment. In his upcoming work A Return to the Spirit, the august Martin Lings, as well, answers the question "What is the spiritual dimension of tears and laughter?" He explains: 'In both these spontaneous overflowings of the body the material realm is transcended. But at their highest level, which is indicated by the word "spiritual," the psychic plane is also largely surpassed. The Body is necessarily endowed with various means of escape from itself. Some of these are merely at its own level, not to speak of that which, by the very fact of its separation, necessarily sinks from being a living substance to a dead substance. But at the same time the escape in itself, as such, can in varying degrees afford access to a higher plane of existence.' How important for us to understand the deeper alchemical functions of these common emotions and thereby hopefully make transformative use from such gained awareness." - V. Gray Henry-Blakemore, Director Fons Vitae Press for World Spirituality


Table of contents (13 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-8058-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $110.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-7015-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-53173-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Divine Play, Sacred Laughter, and Spiritual Understanding
Authors
Copyright
2005
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4039-8058-8
DOI
10.1057/9781403980588
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4039-7015-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-53173-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 273
Topics