Mystics (chr.)

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(Turk. Mistik Tecrübe)

Mysticism is the liberating breakthrough into a dimension that cannot be ascertained conceptually and instead completely overwhelms the individual emotionally. As such, the mystics are tied neither to a certain religion nor, for that matter, to religion at all. In referring back to elements of (Neo-)Platonic philosophy, around the turn of the 5th to the 6th centuries, (Pseudo-)Dionysius the Areopagite developed a mystical theology that remained binding for the tradition of Christian mysticism. Because Christianity, with its belief in God as love, casts the absolute primarily under an affective category, its origins always demonstrated a strong affinity with mystical forms of experience and thought. The main aim was to interpret the event of Christ in mystical terms. Already Augustine (354–430) interprets Christological revelation as an experience of inner enlightenment. Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-c. 1327) speaks of the birth of God in the innermost part of the human soul. Jacob Böhme (1575–1624) emphasised the mystical dimension of creation and corporeality. Over the course of the history of Christian mysticism, frequently there were conflicts between the mystics, on the one hand, and the traditions and institutions of the Church on the other. Characteristic for a large part of Christian mysticism is that philosophical rationality is definitively assigned the role of critical authority in assessing a mystical experience.

Martin Thurner

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