Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Institute of Advanced Theology (IAT) at Bard College and Miriam's Well present a four-weekend seminar series, "The Mystical Revolution," with noted author and mystic Andrew Harvey. The first of the series, "Return of the Mother," will be on Friday–Sunday, March 5–7, at Miriam's Well in Saugerties. Admission for a single seminar is $225, $125 for members of the IAT, or $50 for Bard students, faculty, and staff. The cost for the entire series is $800, $350 for members of the IAT, or $150 for Bard students, faculty, and staff. Preregistration is requested: call 845-246-5805, e-mail, or visit the website

"Andrew Harvey is the most prominent teacher of comparative mysticism in the United States, combining critical expertise with passionate commitment," says Bruce Chilton, executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and chaplain of Bard College. "Harvey uniquely succeeds in preserving the individuality of different perspectives, while drawing their wisdom together to explore common spiritual and political agendas."

Harvey, a consultant for Bard's IAT, says the series focuses on "the mystical revolution destined to take place now . . . one of both profound mystical passion and radical social, political, and economic action."

According to Harvey, part one of the series will explore how "the future depends on the sacred marriage: fusion of heaven and earth, body and soul, heart and mind, masculine and feminine, inner mystical practice and outer social-political action." However, he says, "The sacred marriage's Bride, the Sacred Feminine, has been kept silenced and brutalized for two millennia in our collective unconscious. Now it is time for the Bride—the Mother—to be returned to humanity in all Her power, glory, tenderness, ferocity, and wild truth." Harvey will present in detail his vision of this return, and guide participants through four major sacred practices taken from the Christian, Hindu, Sufi, and Tibetan traditions, enabling them to "discover a direct contact with the Mother's love, and to embody her force."

At the age of 21, Andrew Harvey became the youngest person ever to be named a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He has written and edited more than 30 books, including The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine through the World’s Mystic Traditions; Son of Man; A Journey in Ladakh; Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (coauthored with Sogyal Rinpoche); Mary's Vineyard: Daily Readings, Meditations, and Revelations (photographs by Eryk Hanut); Dialogues with a Modern Mystic; The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi; Hidden Journey; and his most recent, Sun at Midnight, a memoir. His articles have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Body Mind Spirit, Quest, and other publications. Harvey has taught at Oxford and Cornell Universities and Hobart and William Smith College. He was the subject of the 1993 BBC documentary The Making of a Mystic. He continues to study a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity.

The weekend series will continue on June 25–27 with "Rumi and the Way of Passion"; September 10–12 with "Jesus and the Way of Love in Action"; and concludes on November 19–21 with "Mystical Activism and the New Human Being."

The Institute of Advanced Theology was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship, which aims to make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute’s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute and Bard College. For further information about the IAT, its programs, or membership, call 845-758-7279, e-mail, or visit the website

For further information or to register for the series, call Miriam's Well at 845-246-5805. Miriam's Well is located at 13 Simmons Street in Saugerties, New York.

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This event was last updated on 02-17-2004