Book of Divine Works”, c. The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are spiritual combat scupoli pdf. The third dimension is the contemplative or experiential knowledge of God. God becomes present in our inner acts.
It has also influenced the understanding of mysticism as a distinctive experience which supplies knowledge. The notion of “religious experience” was used by Schleiermacher to defend religion against the growing scientific and secular critique. It was adopted by many scholars of religion, of which William James was the most influential. This is why the only test that Christianity has known for determining the authenticity of a mystic and her or his message has been that of personal transformation, both on the mystic’s part and—especially—on the part of those whom the mystic has affected. It also fails to distinguish between episodic experience, and mysticism as a process that is embedded in a total religious matrix of liturgy, scripture, worship, virtues, theology, rituals and practices.
The privatisation of mysticism – that is, the increasing tendency to locate the mystical in the psychological realm of personal experiences – serves to exclude it from political issues as social justice. Mysticism thus becomes seen as a personal matter of cultivating inner states of tranquility and equanimity, which, rather than seeking to transform the world, serve to accommodate the individual to the status quo through the alleviation of anxiety and stress. Mystical experience is not simply a matter between the mystic and God, but is often shaped by cultural issues. Thus, the nature of mystical experience could be tailored to the particular cultural and theological issues of the time. Jewish spirituality in the period before Jesus was highly corporate and public, based mostly on the worship services of the synagogues, which included the reading and interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures and the recitation of prayers, and on the major festivals. God’s impending arrival, that characterized the Jewish people’s reaction to being oppressed by a series of foreign empires.