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Mystical Emotions and the Limits of Language in Contemporary Italian, French, and English Literatures

Project description

Unmasking mysticism in contemporary literature

What is mysticism in contemporary literature? The EU-funded MYS-SPEAKED project aims to find out and provide an accurate definition for it. Within a framework, MYS-SPEAKED will focus on literary analysis and both the philosophy of emotions and language to examine the connections between mystical emotions and language. Its findings will support an emerging field that addresses mysticism in contemporary literature, and lead to interdisciplinary and comparative studies of contemporary mystical literature. Ultimately, it will map and assess the phenomenon of mystical experience through a multilingual and contemporary literary corpus and will classify mystical emotions in English, French, and Italian contemporary literature. The research will also support interreligious and spiritual components in contemporary European culture.


This project will contribute to an emerging research field dealing with mysticism in contemporary literature, and represents the first attempt to study contemporary “mystical literature” from both an interdisciplinary and comparative standpoint. The framework addresses the connections between “mystical emotions” and language, pushing the boundaries between literary analysis, the philosophy of emotions, and the philosophy of language. Unlike many contemporary studies in Literature and Religion—that mix or interchange concepts such as “mysticism”, “sacred”, “epiphany”, etc.—this project advocates for an accurate definition of “mysticism”, from both a historical and a philosophical perspective.
The overall objective of this project is to map and examine the phenomenon of “mystical experience” through a multilingual and contemporary literary corpus that transcends the limitations, related to the timespan and the religious context, of even the most important academic research in this field. The key outcome of this theoretical and literary inquiry will consist of a classification of “mystical emotions” in contemporary literature in different languages (English, French, and Italian), including a description of the main features and attributes of mystical emotions and experiences. The research outputs will be crucial additions to the current state-of-the-art, and will represent an essential contribution to enhance interreligious dialogue as well as map spiritual imaginaries in contemporary European culture.



Net EU contribution
€ 172 750,08
Dorsoduro 3246
30123 Venezia

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Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data

Partners (1)