Mystical Identity and Scriptural Justification

Shlomo Biderman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


What are we to make of a mystic who is trying to reach or convey a unique mystical experience and, at the same time, to base this unique experience on the shared texts of religious tradition? This chapter takes a few steps toward an explanation of this dialectical relation between mystical experience and scriptural exegesis. It focuses on the two conceptual frames that are entangled in the dialectical relations that often seem to characterize the relationship between convictions based on mystical experience and those grounded in scriptural authority. It begins by sketching the major arguments that have been given in favor of a dialectical presentation of mysticism and tradition. In emphasizing the dialectical relations between scripture and mysticism, the chapter suggests a possible explanation of the nature and meaning of this conceptual entanglement. It then turns to Sailkara, the great Hindu exegete and mystic, and shows how the explanation of the dialectical mode offered is clearly present in his writings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMysticism and Sacred Scripture
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199848805
ISBN (Print)9780195097030
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2011


  • Dialectical presentation
  • Mystic
  • Mystical experience
  • Mysticism
  • Sailkara


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