Professor Knepper’s Spring 2104 Philosophy of Religion course looked at discourses of ineffability in Chinese Daoism, West African Religion (of the dozos), Sikhism, and Christian mysticism. In their final papers they were asked to describe and compare several of these discourses, then both to explain their commonalities and differences and to evaluate the general claim that ultimate beings and/or experiences are ineffable. Below are some of their final papers:
Professor Knepper’s Fall 2103 Comparative Religions course studied discourses of ineffability in Indian Buddhism (especially the Vimalakirti Sutra) and Christian Mysticism (especially Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite). Below are some of the final papers in which they compare these different discourses of ineffability and use them to assess the claims of perennial psychologists (such as Robert Forman) or philosophers (such as John Hick) that all religions possess a common ineffable experiential core or point to the same ineffable transcendent reality:
Below you will find supplementary resources for The Comparison Project’s 2013-2015 theme of Religion Beyond Words. These resources come from students in Prof. Knepper’s Fall 2013 Comparative Religions course, Spring 2014 Philosophy of Religion course, Fall 2014 Comparative Religions course, and Spring 2015 Philosophy of Religion course.
The Fall 2013 Comparative Religions course first examined then compared discourses of ineffability in Indian Buddhism and Christian mysticism.
The Spring 2014 Philosophy of Religion first examined then compared and evaluated discourses of ineffability in Daoism, West African religion (of the dozos), and Sikhism.
The Fall 2014 Comparative Religions course first examined then compared discourses of ineffability in Zen Buddhism and the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Hinduism.
The Spring 2015 Philosophy of Religion course will examine then compare and evaluate discourses of ineffability in Jewish and Muslim mysticism.