• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course is a historical and topical survey of some of the world's major mystical traditions. It will be concerned with the principal characteristics of mysticism in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism and with the thoughts and practices of some major figures in these traditions. Other related concerns will be questions about (1) the nature of religious experience and its relationship to religious authority; (2) the psychology of religion, especially of mystical religion; (3) contrasts between mysticism and other forms of religious experience, such as prophetism; and (4) implications of mystical experience for religious belief and theological expression.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students should have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Critically analyse descriptions of mystical experience from four traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Islam.
2. Explain how mystics and their reported experiences have influenced the development of their respective traditions.
3. Evaluate influential interpretive models for understanding mysticism.
4. Understand the relation between the doctrines of religious traditions, the training regimens of mystics, and the reported outcomes of their training. 

Indicative Assessment

Two examinations (35% each), Tutorial performance (30%).

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32 contact hours per semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of any courses.

Prescribed Texts

Powers, J, Readings in Mysticism, (typescript)




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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