Mysticism and Intellect in Medieval Christianity and Buddhism
This book explores two influential intellectual and religious leaders in Christianity and Buddhism, Bonaventure (c. 1217-74) and Chinul (1158-1210), a Franciscan theologian and a Korean Zen master respectively, with respect to their lifelong endeavors to integrate the intellectual and spiritual life so as to achieve the religious aims of their respective religious traditions. It also investigates an associated tension between different modes of discourse relating to the divine or the ultimate-positive (cataphatic) discourse and negative (apophatic) discourse. Both of these modes of discourse are closely related to different ways of understanding the immanence and transcendence of the divine or the ultimate.
Through close studies of Bonaventure and Chinul, the book presents a unique dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism and between West and East. In the examination of these two figures, religious traditions are explored not only from social, political, cultural, philosophical, and doctrinal perspectives, but also from a perspective that integrates both intellectual and spiritual aspects of religious life. Furthermore, the book presents unexplored models of integrating these two aspects of religious life.