Karin Meyers, “Making God Real and Participating in the Divine Mystery: More Theories of the Imagination”
Is what is imagined necessarily imaginary? What if what is imagined is already real, becomes real through the imaging, or is more than real? This presentation will highlight work by the anthropologist, Tanya Luhrmann and Indologist, David Shulman that explains how Christian evangelicals and South Indian tantric devotees, respectively, make the divine real through the cultivation of the imagination and inner senses. It will also draw on the transpersonal theorist, Jorge Ferrer’s participatory theory to suggest a philosophical framework for entertaining the ontological reality (and often, hyper-reality) of the imaginal with some brief comparisons to Jeffrey Kripal’s theory of dual-aspect monism and the paranormal.
Luhrmann, Tanya. “When God Talks Back” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DloTO-SwFZA
Shulman, David. More Than Real: A History of the Imagination in South India. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012, 117-134. (17 pages)
Ferrer, Jorge.“Spiritual Knowing as Participatory Enaction.” In The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies, edited by Jorge N Ferrer and Jacob H. Sherman. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008, 135-158. (23 pages)
Further reading (or viewing):
Luhrmann, Tanya. “How God Becomes Real” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgepMtUz_eI
Shulman, David. “How to Put Together a Goddess out of Musical Scales” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjbAbMu8mzY
Ferrer, Jorge, “A Participatory Vision of the Mystical Unity of Religions” https://slideslive.com/38903388/a-participatory-vision-of-the-mystical-unity-of-religions
Meyers, Karin. “Memory, Imagination and the Culture of Religious Experience.” In Reasons and Lives in Buddhist Traditions: Studies in Honor of Matthew Kapstein. Edited by Dan Arnold, Cecile Ducher, and Pierre-Julien Harter. Boston: Wisdom, 2019
- 11:00am - 11:45am
- 11:45am - 12:00pm
- Short Discussion
Karin MeyersInstitute Co-Director
Karin Meyers is Academic Director of Mangalam Research Center (Berkeley, CA). She received a PhD with distinction from The University of Chicago Divinity School in 2010, and has taught at several colleges and universities in the US and abroad, including Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, where she directed the masters program in Buddhist Studies until returning to the US in 2017. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on bringing Buddhist perspectives to bear on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary inquiry into fundamental metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical questions. In recent years she has focused in particular on the climate and ecological crisis in light of Buddhist thought and practice.