chapter  8
18 Pages

Mystical theology, mysticism and madness


The popular understanding of mysticism is alien to the Christian mystical tradition. In particular, contemplation is not a means of inducing a changed state of consciousness, nor is union with God to be understood as an ecstatic absorption into him. I discuss this because meddling with one’s state of consciousness might be seen as endangering mental health and the claim to be absorbed into God as a symptom of illness.