- ISBN: 9780190907365
- Published By: Oxford University Press
- Published: October 2021
Savoring God is a comparative study that examines the creative interaction of poetry and theology in two mystical poems central to the Christian and the Hindu traditions, the sixteenth-century Spanish Cántico espiritual (Spiritual Canticle), by Saint John of the Cross, and the Sanskrit Rāsa Līlā (Dance of Love), which originated in the oral tradition. Alongside the poems, Gloria Maité Hernández examines theological commentaries on the texts: the Comentarios, written by Saint John of the Cross on his own poem, and the foundational commentary on the Rāsa Līlā by Śrīdhara Svāmi as well as commentaries by the sixteenth-century theologian Jīva Gosvāmi, from the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school, and other Gauḍīya theologians.
The phrase "savoring God" conveys the Spanish gustar a Dios (to savor God) and the Sanskrit madhura bhakti rasa (the sweet savor of divine love). In the Christian and Hindu commentaries these two concepts describe a way of approaching the poems that is simultaneously vulnerable to the emotions evoked by the poetical imagery and responsive to its theological demands. While "savoring" does not mean the precisely the same thing to the Christian and the Hindu theologians, Hernández demonstrates that both traditions interpret the term to suggest poetry's power in mediating an encounter with the divine.