Christian Mysticism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about Christian Mysticism.


     I. General Characteristics of Mysticism

    II.  The Mystical Element in the Bible

   III.  Christian Platonism and Speculative Mysticism—­(1) In the East

    IV.  Christian Platonism and Speculative Mysticism—­(2) In the West

     V. Practical and Devotional Mysticism

    VI.  Practical and Devotional Mysticism—­continued

   VII.  Nature-Mysticism and Symbolism

  VIII.  Nature-Mysticism—­continued

        AppendixA. Definitions of “Mysticism” and “Mystical Theology”

        AppendixB. The Greek Mysteries and Christian Mysticism

        AppendixC. The Doctrine of Deification

        AppendixD. The Mystical Interpretation of the Song of Solomon



[Greek:  “Hemin de apodeikteon hos ep’ eutuchia te megiste para Theon he toiaute mania didotai he de de apodeixis estai deinois men apistos, sophois de piste”]

Plato, Phaedrus, p. 245.

  “Thoas.  Es spricht kein Gott; es spricht dein eignes Herz.
  Iphigenia.  Sie reden nur durch unser Herz zu uns.”

Goethe, Iphigenie.

  “Si notre vie est moins qu’une journee
   En l’eternel; si l’an qui fait le tour
   Chasse nos jours sans espoir de retour;
   Si perissable est toute chose nee;
   Que songes-tu, mon ame emprisonnee? 
   Pourquoi te plait l’obscur de notre jour,
   Si, pour voler en un plus clair sejour,
   Tu as au dos l’aile bien empennee! 
   La est le bien que tout esprit desire,
   La, le repos ou tout le monde aspire,
   La est l’amour, la le plaisir encore! 
   La, o mon ame, au plus haut ciel guidee,
   Tu y pourras reconnaitre l’idee
   De la beaute qu’en ce monde j’adore!”

Old poet.


“Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be.  We know that, if He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him even as He is.”—­I John iii. 2, 3.

No word in our language—­not even “Socialism”—­has been employed more loosely than “Mysticism.”  Sometimes it is used as an equivalent for symbolism or allegorism, sometimes for theosophy or occult science; and sometimes it merely suggests the mental state of a dreamer, or vague and fantastic opinions about God and the world.  In Roman Catholic writers, “mystical phenomena” mean supernatural suspensions of physical law.  Even those writers who have made a special study of the subject, show by their definitions of the word how uncertain is its connotation.[2] It is therefore necessary that I should make clear at the outset what I understand by the term, and what aspects of religious life and thought I intend to deal with in these Lectures.

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Christian Mysticism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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