n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Mistiek : van verwarring na waarheid? 'n filosofiese verkenning : original research

Volume 80, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
  • E-ISSN: 2304-8557



In spite of the fact that a great variety of mystical and semi-mystical spiritualties are again popular today, for many people past and present mysticism is a mystery, something misty and vague. According to others, however, a mystical experience is nothing extraordinary since it can even be produced instantly by simply taking a chemical drug. Again, some other proponents of a religious kind of mysticism believe that (semi) mysticism can be an antidote against stagnant beliefs and dying churches, a vitamin capable of revitalising any religion. They are opposed by other Christian thinkers who regard any kind of mysticism as unbiblical and thus to be totally rejected. Such disagreements and confusion call for a clarification of what mysticism really entails. Many approaches to this phenomenon, like psychological, theological, sociological ones and more are available today (cf. e.g. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014). This essay tackles the issue from a philosophical perspective, trying to determine some basic characteristics of mysticism.

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