Theophanis the Monk and Monoimus the Arab in a Phenomenological-Cognitive Perspective

Open Theology 2 (1):53-78 (2016)
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Abstract
Two brief Late Antique religious texts, respectively by the monk Theophanis and by Monoimus the Arab, present an interesting problem of whether they embody the authors’ experience, or whether they are merely literary constructs. Rather than approaching this issue through the lens of theory, the article shows how phenomenological analysis and studies of living subjectivity can be engaged with the text in order to clarify the contents of introspective experience and the genesis of its religious connotations. The analysis uncovers a previously unnoticed form of embodied introspective religious experience which is structured as a ladder with a distinct internal structure with the high degree of synchronic and diachronic stability. This approach also helps one identify the specific introspective techniques in the canonical and non-canonical literature of early Christian tradition, as related to the concepts of “ theosis ” and “ kenosys ”, as well as to suggest some neurological correspondents of religious cognition.
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