Practical Mysticism, Self-Knowing and Moral Motivation

  • Terence Lovat
Part of the Moral Development and Citizenship Education book series (MORA, volume 1)


The chapter addresses the issue of moral motivation through creating a conversation between the ancient tradition of practical mysticism and current human sciences research.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. al-Ghazali, A. (1991). The book of religious learnings. New Delhi: Islamic Book Services.Google Scholar
  2. Aquinas, T. (1948). Summa theologica(Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Trans.). New York: Benziger Bros.Google Scholar
  3. Aristotle, (1985). Nicomachean ethics (T. Irwin, Trans.). Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  4. Armstrong, A. tr. (1996). Plotinus, Ennead II. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Barrett, J. (Ed.), (2010). Psychology of religion. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Beauregard, M., & O’Leary, D. (2007). The spiritual brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul (1st ed.). New York: HarperOne.Google Scholar
  7. Beauregard, M., & Paquette, V. (2008). EEG activity in Carmelite nuns during a mystical experience. Neuroscience Letters,444(1), 1-4.Google Scholar
  8. Blasi, A. (1983). Moral cognition and moral action: A theoretical perspective. Developmental Review, 3, 178-210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blasi, A. (1999). Emotions and moral motivation. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 29, 1-19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blasi, A. (2004). Neither personality nor cognition: An alternative approach to the nature of the self. In C. Lightfoot, C. Lalonde & M. Chandler (Eds.), Changing conceptions of psychological life (pp. 3-26) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Blasi, A. (2005). Moral character: A psychological approach. In D.K. Lapsley and F.C. Power (Eds.), Character psychology and character education (pp. 67-100). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bolt, R. (1990). A man for all seasons. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  13. Bonhoeffer, D. (1959). The cost of discipleship. London: SCM.Google Scholar
  14. Bonhoeffer, D. (1998). Letters and papers from prison. London: SCM.Google Scholar
  15. Cordovero, M. (1974). The palm tree of Deborah(L. Jacobs, Trans.) New York: Hermon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Damasio, A.R. (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain (1st ed.). New York: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  17. Elkins, D.N., Hedstrom, L.J., Hughes, L.L., Leaf, J.A., & Saunders, C.L. (1988). Toward a humanisticphenomenological spirituality: Definition, description, and measurement. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 28, 5-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emmons, R. (2000). Is spirituality an intelligence? Motivation, cognition and the psychology of ultimate concern. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10(1), 3-26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emmons, R. (2003). The psychology of ultimate concerns: Motivation and spirituality in personality. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  20. Epstein, P. (1988). Kabbalah: The way of the Jewish mystic. Boston: Shambhala.Google Scholar
  21. Fowler, J. (1995). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  22. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Gardner, H. (1999). Are there additional intelligences? The case for naturalist, spiritual and existential intelligences. In J. Kane (Ed.), Education, information and transformation (pp. 111-131). New York: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  24. Habermas, J. (1972). Knowledge and human interests (J. Shapiro, Trans.). London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  25. Habermas, J. (1974). Theory and practice(J. Viertal, Trans.). London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  26. Habermas, J (1984). Theory of communicative action (vol. I) (T. McCarthy, Trans.). Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  27. Habermas, J (1987). Theory of communicative action (vol. II) (T. McCarthy, Trans.). Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  28. Habermas, J. (1990). Moral consciousness and communicative action (C. Lenhardt & S. Nicholson, trans.). Cambridge, MASS: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.Google Scholar
  29. Habermas, J. (2001). The liberating power of symbols: Philosophical essays. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  30. Han, S., Gu, X., Mao, L., Ge, J., Wang, G., & Ma, Y. (2010). Neural substrates of self-referential processing in Chinese Buddhists. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5(2-3), 332-339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Han, S., Mao, L., Gu, X., Zhu, Y., Ge, J., & Ma, Y. (2008). Neural consequences of religious belief on self-referential processing. Social Neuroscience,3(1), 1-15.Google Scholar
  32. Heelas, P. (Ed.), (2011). Spirituality in the modern world: Within religious tradition and beyond. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Idel, M. (1988). Kabbalah: New perspectives. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Idel, M. & McGinn, B. (eds.). (1999). Mystical union in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: An ecumenical dialogue. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  35. Immordino-Yang, M.H., & Damasio, A.R. (2007). We feel, therefore we learn: The relevance of affect and social neuroscience to education. Mind, Brain, and Education, 1, 3-10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Janz, B. (2005). Pre-Christian mystics and influences on mysticism. Available at:
  37. Kohlberg, L. (1963). The development of children’s orientations toward a moral order: I. Sequence in the development of moral thought. Vita Humana, 6, 11-33.Google Scholar
  38. Lovat, T. (2006). Practical mysticism as authentic religiousness: A Bonhoeffer case study. Australian E-Journal of Theology, 6. Available at:
  39. Mayer, J. (2000). Spiritual intelligence or spiritual consciousness? International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10(1), 47-56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. More, T. (1989). Utopia (R. Logan & G. Adams, Trans.).Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Northoff, G. (2010). Humans, brains, and their environment: Marriage between neuroscience and anthropology? Neuron, 65, 748-751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Oser, F. (1980). Stages of religious judgement. In C. Brusselmans, (Ed.), Toward moral and religious maturity (pp. 277-315). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett.Google Scholar
  43. Oser, F. (1991). A logic of religious development. In J.W. Fowler, K.E. Nipkow, & E Schweitzer (Eds.), Stages of faith and religious development: Implications for church, education, and society (pp. 37–64). New York: Crossroad.Google Scholar
  44. Plotinus (1964). The essential Plotinus (E. O’Brien, Trans.). Indiana, Ind: Hackett Publishing co.Google Scholar
  45. Rappe, S. (2000). ReadingNeo-Platonism: Non-discursive thinking in the texts of Plotinus, Proclus, and Damascius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spezio, M.L. (2011). The neuroscience of emotion and reasoning in social contexts: Implications for moral theology. Modern Theology, 27(2), 339-356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sternberg, R. (2004). North American approaches to intelligence. In R. Sternberg (Ed.), International handbook of intelligence (pp. 411-444). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Underhill, E. (1915). Practical mysticism. New York: E.P. Dutton & co. Available at:
  49. Walach, H. (2007). Mind, body, spirituality. Mind and Matter, 5(2), 215-240.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sense Publishers 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Lovat
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and ArtsUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.Senior Research FellowUniversity of OxfordUK

Personalised recommendations