Date(s) - 26/07/2015 - 27/07/2015
Under the auspices of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, working together with the Centre for Religious Studies, Monash University and a Monash-Tel Aviv Collaboration project, a workshop is being held at Monash University, Caulfield Campus, on Sunday and Monday 26-27 July 2015, that seeks to explore how the notion of ecstasy has operated not just within philosophical traditions originating in classical antiquity, but within the mystical currents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. From the perspectives of rationalizing philosophy as well as mainstream religions, ecstasy can appear a dangerously subversive phenomenon, at odds with classical notions of eudaimonia. In all three branches of the monotheist tradition, there has long been debate about the way ecstasy might be understood and how it relates to the human condition.
This workshop aims to explore different ways in which imagery of ecstasy and intoxication operates within both philosophical and religious traditions from Antiquity to the Renaissance, whether in contrast to or complementing Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic ways of thinking about rationality and happiness. How does ecstasy relate to melancholy and suffering in human experience? Is it always transient? What circumstances may provoke interest in the imagery of ecstasy and release from the constraints of the world?