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San Juan de la Cruz

Mysticism and Sartrean Existentialism


Robert R. Ellis

In this iconoclastic book, Ellis submits the life and work of San Juan de la Cruz to the scrutiny of Sartrean analysis. In so doing, he clarifies the existential affinities that San Juan de la Cruz shares with other Golden Age Spanish writers as well as with the most significant exponents of western apophatism. The study asserts that apophatic mysticism, in contrast to the cataphatic theology of the scholastics, expresses in religious terms many of the fundamental intuitions of modern, secular, existentialism. In fact San Juan de la Cruz and Sartre both raise similar ontological questions. Notwithstanding, they make radically different choices regarding the existence of God.