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Phenomenologies of the StrangerBetween Hostility and Hospitality$
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Richard Kearney and Kascha Semonovitch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234615

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234615.001.0001

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Incarnate Experience

Incarnate Experience

(p.109) 6 Incarnate Experience
Phenomenologies of the Stranger



Fordham University Press

This chapter deals with different kinds of experiences that pertain to corporeality. It distinguishes between “embodied experience” and “incarnate experience” where the latter includes visitations of the vertical or transcendent. This distinction between embodied and incarnate experience is not to advocate any kind of dualism; rather, it is an attempt to be attentive to modes of givenness that are mutually informing but phenomenologically distinct. Unlike embodied experiences, which are “acquired” or “provoked,” incarnate experiences indicate the overtaking of self by a divine Stranger. With detailed histories from three exemplary mystics — Saint Teresa of Avila, Rūzbihān Baqlī, and Rabbi Dov Baer — this chapter presents evidence of the multisensory manifestation of the sacred Other, arguing that mystical sensibility must be understood to include an extra “sense” of balance, harmony, and discernment in addition to the standard five senses.

Keywords:   Saint Teresa of Avila, Rūzbihān Baqlī, Rabbi Dov Baer, corporeality, embodied experience, incarnate experience, balance, Stranger, Other, harmony

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