Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Kathryn McClymond - Chair

Second Advisor

Cristopher White

Third Advisor

Timothy Renick

Abstract

In contemporary society, distinct traditions are bleeding into one another, blurring traditional lines of inquiry and historically significant boundaries. This phenomenon frames this project and creates the context for the Yoga-Christian praxis dialogue this study constructively critiques. Unfortunately, this dialogue exhibits an Eliadean concern for essentialism and universality. I challenge this trend by juxtaposing two distinct texts, Patañjali‘s Yoga-Sūtra and Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses. These texts point to the similar idea that without striving and personal transformation neither the yogic practitioner nor practicing Christian logically subsists. More importantly, however, from this point of correspondence I constructively critique the Yoga-Christian praxis dialogue by concretely engaging these texts and paying particular attention to the differences inherent in them. My comparison, then, suggests how attention to particularity points to a more authentic dialogue: what I wish to call a dialogue of distinction without separation.

Included in

Religion Commons

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