In Speechless Ecstasy
Expression & Interpretation of
Mystical Experience in Classical
Syriac & Sufi Literature
Studia Orientalia, Vol. 98


By Serafim Seppala
December 2003
Finnish Oriental Society
ISBN: 9519380582
353 pages, 7" x 9 "
$117.50 Paper Original


According to the hypothesis underlying this study, Syriac and Sufi texts refer repeatedly to and deal with something "mystical" which is absolutely non-linguistic in nature, yet is expressed linguistically under the conditions and restrictions of natural language; this something is an important factor constituting the character of the discourse, but it does not submit to being an object of research. The purpose of this study is to undertake a systematic survey of the different constituents of ecstatic readings in Syriac ascetic literature, including the process of expression and interpretation (and manifestation, as far as possible), and to present this together with a corresponding analysis of classical Sufism as it is manifested in its authoritative literature, and finally, to make concluding remarks concerning common features and differences between traditions.

Language Studies

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