Original Research - Special Collection: Applied subjects - Practical Theology and Science of Religion

Suffering in the mystical traditions of Buddhism and Christianity

Jakub Urbaniak
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2117 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2117 | © 2014 Jakub Urbaniak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 December 2013 | Published: 21 August 2014

About the author(s)

Jakub Urbaniak, Department of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria, South Africa


This article seeks to explore the mystical approaches to suffering characteristic of both Buddhism and Christianity. Through the analysis of the meanings, the two traditions in question ascribe to suffering as a ‘component’ of mystical experience; it challenges the somewhat oversimplified understanding of the dichotomy ’sage-the-robot versus saint-the-sufferer’. Thus it contributes to the ongoing discussion on the theological–spiritual dimensions of the human predicament, as interpreted by various religious traditions. It also illustrates (though only implicitly) in what sense – to use the Kantian distinction – the mystical experience offers boundaries (Schranken) without imposing limits (Grenzen) to interfaith encounter and dialogue.

Man [sic] is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering, as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it. (Frankl 1967:56)


No related keywords in the metadata.


Total abstract views: 5089
Total article views: 9290


Crossref Citations

1. Suffering in the Workplace from a Philosophical View
Sheila Liberal Ormaechea, Eduardo Gismera, Cristina Paredes, Francisco Javier Sastre
HUMAN REVIEW. International Humanities Review / Revista Internacional de Humanidades  vol: 11  issue: 2  first page: 103  year: 2022  
doi: 10.37467/revhuman.v11.3480