In this icoclastic book, Ellis submits the life and work of San Juan de la Cruz to the scrutiny of Sartrean analysis. In so doing, he clarifies the existential affinities that San Juan de la Cruz shares with other Golden Age Spanish writers as well as with the most significant exponents of western apophatism. The study asserts that apophatic mysticism, in contrast to the cataphatic theology of the scholastics, expresses in religious terms many of the fundamental intuitions of modern, secular, existentialism. In fact San Juan de la Cruz and Sartre both raise similar ontological questions. Notwithstanding, they make radically different choices regarding the existence of God.
The Author: Robert Richmond Ellis is an associate professor of Spanish at Occidental College. He has written numerous articles and papers on existentialism and Spanish literature. In addition, he is author of The Tragic Pursuit of Being: Unamuno and Sartre.