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Contemplative Studies

Contemplative Studies

Contemplative Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field. It is closely associated with other fields of inquiry such as consciousness studies, mysticism studies, psychology, neuroscience, religious studies, and so forth. The field of Contemplative Studies is in its formative phase, and its parameters are still being established. One approach emphasizes the development of awareness in each and every area of inquiry, including teaching and learning. From this perspective, contemplative practice might encompass art, dance, movement awareness, photography, sculpture, and so forth. A more narrowly focused and religious studies approach seeks to map the entire breadth and depth of contemplative practice and experience as documented within and transmitted by religious adherents and communities. In any case, Contemplative Studies recognizes the importance of both third-person and critical first-person approaches; it makes space for direct personal experience with specific forms of practice. In this way it challenges the denial of embodied experience and subjectivity within much of academic discourse and brings the issue of religious adherence in religious studies into high relief.

The Contemplative Studies Website

The Contemplative Studies website serves as a collaborative online resource for scholars, educators and students interested in contemplative practice and experience. This website aims to strengthen the interdisciplinary field of Contemplative Studies and the community of individuals committed to such inquiry.


With contributions from national and international scholars and members of the American Academy of Religion, the Contemplative Studies website is maintained by Dr. Louis Komjathy, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. It is hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of San Diego.

Special Thanks

We are especially grateful for the encouragement and support of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and other USD faculty and staff.