Ineffability: An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion

  • Timothy D. Knepper
  • Leah E. Kalmanson

Part of the Comparative Philosophy of Religion book series (COPR, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Jonathan D. Bellman
    Pages 41-58
  3. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
    Pages 113-134
  4. Steven T. Katz
    Pages 207-218

About this book


This collection of essays is an exercise in comparative philosophy of religion that explores the different ways in which humans express the inexpressible. It brings together scholars of over a dozen religious, literary, and artistic traditions, as part of The Comparison Project's 2013-15 lecture and dialogue series on "religion beyond words."  Specialist scholars first detailed the grammars of ineffability in nine different religious traditions as well as the adjacent fields of literature, poetry, music, and art. The Comparison Project's directors then compared this diverse set of phenomena, offering explanations for their patterning, and raising philosophical questions of truth and value about religious ineffability in comparative perspective. 

This book is the inaugural publication of The Comparison Project, an innovative new approach to the philosophy of religion housed at Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa, USA). The Comparison Project organizes a biennial series of scholar lectures, practitioner dialogues, and comparative panels about core, cross-cultural topics in the philosophy of religion. Specialist scholars of religion first explore this topic in their religions of expertise; comparativist philosophers of religion then raise questions of meaning, truth, and value about this topic in comparative perspective. The Comparison Project stands apart from traditional approaches to the philosophy of religion in its commitment to religious inclusivity. It is the future of the philosophy of religion in a diverse, global world.


Comparative mysticism Comparative philosophy Comparative religion Comparison project Cross-cultural studies Ineffability of God Mystical experience Mystical language Philosophy of religion Religious language

Editors and affiliations

  • Timothy D. Knepper
    • 1
  • Leah E. Kalmanson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and ReligionDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA

Bibliographic information