BLS 364: Mystics in America

Have you ever wanted to know more about the spiritual landscape of our postmodern culture? Well, here’s your chance to study some popular trends in contemporary spirituality and uncover the historical roots that (may or may not) lie behind them. We will read both contemporary accounts and historical texts to try and better understand the alien implants that cause psychic trauma, the Sefirot that mediate between God and creation, the differences between mindfulness and no-mind, and the details the Evangelists left out of their Passion accounts. We may even encounter a few Wiccans and Druids and Purpose-Drive People—Oh my!


  • Berg, Michael. The Way: Using the Wisdom of Kabbalah for Spiritual Transformation and Fulfillment. Wiley 2002. ISBN 0471228796
  • Chestnut, R. Andrew. Devoted to Death: Santa Muerta, the Skeleton Saint. Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN 0199764654
  • Chödrön, Pema. When Things Fall Apart. Shambhala Publications 1997. ISBN 1570623449
  • Williams, Angel Kyodo. Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace. Compass 2002. ISBN 0140196307