Towards a Comparative History of Inwardness
This first lecture raises the topic of the human person in the context of comparative religion. It asks the question ‘how can we map the self across cultures?’ and ‘can inwardness be a topic of comparison?’ I propose firstly to present some general comments on inwardness and spiritual practice and the relationship between ‘subjectivity’ and ‘individuality’ (arguing that a traditional subjectivity is not individual but collective). Secondly I propose that we need to examine these questions about inwardness, subjectivity, body and world in three areas of method, history, and comparison. The lecture will make reference to classical phenomenology, particularly Heidegger’s early work on the phenomenology of the religious life.