Mysticism and Modern Spirit

Digital Publications

Apokalyptische Szenarien helfen beim Klimaschutz nicht weiter. Welt-Debatte, WELT-Online, 20.06.2007

Keine Kluft zwischen den „Zwei Kulturen“. In: Wissenslogs. Gute Stube, Salon der zwei Kulturen. Hrsg. v. Carsten Könneker.

Rechtfertigungsdruck der Disziplinen. In: Wissenslogs. Gute Stube, Salon der zwei Kulturen. Hrsg. v. Carsten Könneker.

"On Spheres", in: Electronic Book Review 9, ed. by J. Tabby, 1999.

"Die besten Videos drehte al-Qaida. Zwei Jahre nach den New Yorker Anschlägen: Zwischen Kunst und Terrorismus gibt es eine tiefe Wahlverwandtschaft", in: Die Zeit, 34/2003, S. 34.

"Alles so schön sinnlos hier. Die Kunst der Gegenwart ist oft blass, leer und nichtig. Dennoch feiert sie große Erfolge. Wie kommt das nur?", in: Die Zeit, 36/2005, S. 44.

Das Nicht-Hermeneutische und der Fundamentalismus. Schnittflächen zwischen kulturellen und religiösen Valorisierungen des Alphabets. Trans. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften Nr. 16, August 2006,

"Da ist alles drin. Gerhard Richters riesiges Fenster für den Kölner Dom sieht aus wie ein Computerbild" (gemeinsam mit Johanna Di Blasi), in: Die Zeit, 23.8.2007, S. 46.

Team:

Prof. Dr. Klaus Vondung,

Prof. Dr. K. Ludwig Pfeiffer, beide , Universität Siegen, FB 3 Sprach-, Literatur- und Medienwissenschaften

Prof. Dr. Frederick Gregory

Prof. Dr. Stephen A. Mc Knight, beide University of Florida, Department of History

The goal of the project (2003 – 2006)consisted in tracking down patterns of mystical thought, experience and worldviews in modern natural, biological and information sciences. In that way, new light was also thrown on the concepts of modernity and modern science. The research group was not interested in esoteric countermovements against modernity, but rather in the strength of mystical thought within modernity. Research was fuelled by the observation that the different sciences were driven by a desire for holistic unification. In this drive, both traditional and conventional boundaries of these sciences are often transcended. The concept of the "mystical” was therefore meant to denote both the desire for unity and the construction of that unity – not only with respect to the phenomena investigated and the tools used for that purpose, but, more radically, with respect to the configuration of subject and object, of human beings and nature, ultimately of human beings and the "absolute” (God).

The project discovered strong affinities, both in regard to content and to structure, between traditional mystical world pictures and core areas of modern science and culture, that is in cosmology, quantum mechanics, in the life sciences and in computer technology. Such affinities have manifested themselves also, for instance, in "holistic” worldviews, in speculative thought about the merging of consciousness with the Cyberspace universe of data, about a "transhuman” existence of humanity in the future, or in the neuroscientific analysis of consciousness.

In this interdisciplinary project, Dr. Ingo Berensmeyer, Dr. Luca Di Blasi and Dr. Dr. Christoph F. E. Holzhey were research collaborators at the University of Siegen, Dr. Anna-K. Meyer at the University of Florida.