Revisiting the Experience of the Divine in a Skeptical Age: The Neo-mysticism of Spanish Poet Manuel Mantero

Dr. John Ross
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In a time when faith in individual spiritual evolution is frequently eclipsed by belief in technological solutions, the automatic embrace of globalized economics and the pragmatics of military adventurism in a post "Cold War" milieu, Manuel Mantero (1930) fills a unique contour in contemporary humanistic thought. He is, contrary to the dominant currents of postmodern absurdity, materialism and incredulity, a metaphysical poet.

Flowing from a profound understanding of the writings of mystics like the neo-Platonist Plotinus, the Cabbalist Moisés de León, the Catholic writers Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross and the Persian Sufi poet Rumi, Manuel Mantero articulates his own distinct synthesis of the mystical experience. His unique rendering of this ancient phenomenon is informed by the abovementioned sources, yet is novel in its approach, interpretation and implication. He strips away needless rhetoric and lays bare the experience of the individual spirit in union with that of a separate divine presence.

I propose in this work that metaphysical curiosity and ideations, however neglected, detested or invalidated, will never, nor should ever be eliminated from the humanistic consideration. Thus studying the neo-mysticism of Mantero allows us a view into the future of spirituality and offers some understanding of humankind's persistent longing for/and of its impulse to experience transcendence.

Keywords: Mysticism, Transcendence, Metaphysical Poetry, Spanish Mysticism, Spanish Poetry of the 20th. Century
Stream: Religion, Spirituality
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Revisiting the Experience of the Divine in an Age of Scepticism

Dr. John Ross

Lecturer of Hispanic Business Culture, Language and Practices, Department of Romance Languages, University of Georgia

I work at the University of Georgia as an instructor of Hispanic business culture, language and practices. However, my advanced degrees are in the study of Spanish poetry of the 20th. Century. I have organized one conference on Spanish poetry at the University of Georgia in March of 2001, and have invited and hosted visiting Spanish poets on three separate occasions. I have taught Spanish business culture to American university students in the summers of 2003 and 2004 in Seville, Spain. In my research area of contemporary Spanish poetry and I have published numerous reviews and essays in journals in the U.S. and Spain. I have presented papers in English, Spanish and Portuguese on literary topics, -mostly poetry-, but also in the areas of Aesthetics and Brazilian narration. I am currently preparing an authorized edition of the complete poetic works of Rafael Montesinos.

Ref: H05P0331