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Questions tagged [mysticism]

Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.

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214 views

Did Christ consort with mystics?

In the time of Christ, were there mystics, Jewish or otherwise, with whom Christ consorted before or during the time of His ministry? By "mystics" is meant those comparable to Sufi mystics, who seek ...
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Did the church use stories like the Holy Grail to attract pagans?

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I am avid watcher of the History Channel series on the Templar Knights. In one episode, the character playing the Pope announces that stories like the Holy ...
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What is a mystical experience according to Catholicism?

After reading this about Benedict's resignation. Benedict denied he had been visited by an apparition or had heard God's voice, but said he had undergone a "mystical experience" during which ...
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Who titled the poem: “The Dark Night of the Soul”?

Wikipedia claims that the Catholic mystic St John of the Cross did not title his own poem: "The Dark Night of the Soul". If St John didn't title it who did?
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Is there any historical evidence that Gnosticism disappeared because Gnostics converted to Christianity?

In his article "Mysticism in the Early Church, in The American Journal of Theology, Aurther C McGiffert says, Closely connected with Paul, John, and Ignatius are the Gnosics, the most famous ...
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What do Catholics think of the Philokalia?

The absence of a "mysticism"-oriented text in Catholic Christianity has always struck me. The Philokalia are an incredible source of ascetic instructions for the believer who seeks communion with God. ...
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Was Joseph Smith interested in and familiar with Kabbalah?

We know that historically Joseph Smith taught himself Hebrew (as to how well, I'm not sure), and that he held beliefs similar to Jewish mysticism (degrees of heaven, preexistence, fall of angels, etc.)...
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Which Catholic writer(s) has compared St Paul's “third heaven” to the third stage of interior prayer?

There is a Catholic author who compared St Paul's vision of the third heaven to the third or final stage or way of perfection. I can remember reading it some years ago, but cannot recall it now. This ...
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Is there a Christian counterpart to practical kabbalah?

Wikipedia says practical kabbalah is permitted white magic within Judaism. I know of the Old Testament injunctions against various types of sorcery, divination, etc., so this is quite a surprise to me....
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In Catholicism, what does “mystical” mean?

In the Loreto Litanies, Mary is referred to as Mystical Rose and the Church teaches as doctrine that the Church is the the Mystical Body of Christ1. In Catholicism, what does mystical mean? 1. Cf. ...
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New Age Movement [closed]

Is there a canonical definition for the "New Age" movement? I remember a lot of conversation on the subject when I was younger and ran into someone mentioning it recently. As a term it is pretty ...
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Jakob Böhme - influence [closed]

Which denominations apart from Quakerism, if any other, were influenced by the teachings of German Protestant mystic Jakob Böhme?
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What is Christian about Christian Kabbalah?

There is a form of Jewish mysticism called “Kabbalah”. There is also a Christian form of this, called “Cabalah” or “Christian Kabbalah”. What is specifically Christian about Christian Kabbalah? How ...
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When Meister Eckhart deliniates the “ground” and “powers” of the soul, what is he differentiating?

I'd like to know where to look for scholarly articles that could help elucidate unclear points in ancient writings. For instance, Desert Fathers speak a lot about "heart", "spirit", "mind", "thoughts",...
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What is the “new doctrine” that Leo Tolstoy mentions in *Anna Karenina*?

In Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina (1873-1877), there's a point where the author refers to a "new doctrine" that was fashionable among the Russian upper classes. The following extract is from Part 5,...
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Do Western Christians confuse Mysticism with Emotionalism? [closed]

I repeatedly hear Western Christians repudiate mysticism. This post is NOT about the merits or dangers of Christian mysticism. Another question addresses that sufficiently. This question deals with ...
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Sponge in water vs water in sponge how to understand St. Teresa properly? [closed]

I've been reading on St. Teresa recently. She says: as water penetrates and is drunk in by the sponge, so, it seemed to me, did the Divinity fill my soul Does that mean that God is present in the ...
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Reformation objections to lectio divina?

It is becoming popular in Protestant circles to embrace traditional Roman Catholic (RC) mysticism, such as the practice of lectio divina. For example, see this page on the website of Timothy Keller's ...
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Is there a record of an association of prayer with pain?

It is well known and well documented that spiritual ecstasies (and the like) are present in Christianity (Paul caught up into heaven &c.). I am looking for theological works which expound on the ...
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Is Christian mysticism an oxymoron or is it a legitimate path for a Christian? [closed]

I've been in a debate online with another Christian of a different tradition (I'm Catholic, he is Baptist, I think) regarding mysticism, specifically Christian mysticism. He stated that mysticism is ...