TRS 2: Mysticism And Spirituality TRS2004

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the categories of 'mysticism' and 'spirituality' and the phenomena they are said to denote from a philosophical, historical and interpretive-textual perspective. We shall explore the key debates that have dominated the academic study of mysticism and spirituality alongside key mystical traditions, philosophies, texts and figures from a variety of world religions (normally including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam).


Lectures: - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 3pm over 10 teaching weeks as scheduled on mycampus

Requirements of Entry

A grade D3 or above in any Level 1 TRS option or at the discretion of the Head of Theology and Religious studies.

Excluded Courses



Coursework: one 2500 word essay (50%)

Examination: one 90 minute exam (50%)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ introduce students to key themes and debates in the field of the comparative study of mysticism and spirituality; to explore the history of the construction of the categories of "mysticism" and "spirituality" and the relationship between these constructions and questions of power and authority 

■ examine a variety of mystical texts, teachings and figures from a variety of religious traditions 

■ explore the continuities and discontinuities between pre-modern mystical texts understood in their historical and cultural context and contemporary interpretations from East and West.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ analyse the historical development of the categories of "the mystical," "mysticism", and "spirituality"

■ offer an analysis of the mystical in relation to a specific religious tradition, text or figure

■ outline and discuss a key debate within the comparative study of mysticism and spirituality..

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.