Mysticism, historical and contemporary


  • Carl-Martin Edsman


An evident experience of God's presence is the basis for all religion. Mysticism is considered to be piety in so far as primary importance is attached to inner religious experience, to religion as occurring in the soul. Mysticism is pure religious introversion. The special religious experience of mysticism, its epistemology and its ascetic ethics or technique, occur with startling likeness in widely different times and types of religion. This does not, however, exclude a multitude of variations and differences. The way of mysticism includes different stages, but the state which generally distinguishes mystical experience is ecstasy or rapture. It is, however, often impossible to isolate this from the preparatory physical and spiritual training and even less from the revolutionary consequences for the whole life of the mystic. It can result in complete devotion to the service of one's neighbour, and the not infrequent accusation that the mystic gives himself up to a selfish and anti-social enjoyment of God is not entirely justified.



How to Cite

Edsman, C.-M. (1970). Mysticism, historical and contemporary. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 5.