Vernunft und Mysterientheologie in Elisabeth Langgaessers Gang durch das Ried
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This purpose of this thesis is to gain insight into Elisabeth LanggŠsserÕs condemnation of rationalization and exaltation of mystical experience by exploring the symbolic treatment of the tropes ÒearthÕ in the novel, Gang durch das Ried within the context of her religious beliefs. A rural area in Hessen, Germany, which was occupied by the French after World War I, is the backdrop for this story of salvation cast within a society that had fallen into moral degradation. The protagonist of the novel undergoes a series of mystical experiences in connection with the element ÒearthÓ: through which he regains his sanity and experiences redemption. It is not through rational but emotional processes that accompanied the mystical experiences that the protagonist regains his identity. These extreme feelings become the basis for establishing selfhood within the larger religious context, which LanggŠsser contended was the continuous battle between God and Satan. Identity and emotions are thus inextricably intertwined within LanggŠsser's religious construct.