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Votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, discovered in the sanctuary at Eleusis (mid-4th century BC)

Mysticism is "a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institutions, traditions, and experiences aimed at human transformation, variously defined in different traditions."<ref group=web name="Stanford" />

The term "mysticism" has Ancient Greek origins with various historically determined meanings.<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /><ref group=web name="Stanford" /> Derived from the Greek word μυω, meaning "to conceal",<ref group=web name="Stanford" /> mysticism referred to the biblical liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to "extraordinary experiences and states of mind".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}

In modern times, "mysticism" has acquired a limited definition,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> with broad applications,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> as meaning the aim at the "union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God".<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> valuing "mystical experience" as a key element of mysticism.

Since the 1960s scholars have debated the merits of perennial and constructionist approaches in the scientific research of "mystical experiences";{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} the perennial position is now "largely dismissed by scholars".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}


Mysticism sections
Intro  Etymology  Definitions  History  Forms of mysticism within world religions  Mystical experience  Neurology and meditation  Skepticism  See also  Notes  References  Sources  Further reading  External links  

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Votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, discovered in the sanctuary at Eleusis (mid-4th century BC)

Mysticism is "a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institutions, traditions, and experiences aimed at human transformation, variously defined in different traditions."<ref group=web name="Stanford" />

The term "mysticism" has Ancient Greek origins with various historically determined meanings.<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /><ref group=web name="Stanford" /> Derived from the Greek word μυω, meaning "to conceal",<ref group=web name="Stanford" /> mysticism referred to the biblical liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity.{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to "extraordinary experiences and states of mind".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}

In modern times, "mysticism" has acquired a limited definition,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> with broad applications,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> as meaning the aim at the "union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God".<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices,<ref group=web name="EB-Mysticism" /> valuing "mystical experience" as a key element of mysticism.

Since the 1960s scholars have debated the merits of perennial and constructionist approaches in the scientific research of "mystical experiences";{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}} the perennial position is now "largely dismissed by scholars".{{#invoke:Footnotes|sfn}}


Mysticism sections
Intro  Etymology  Definitions  History  Forms of mysticism within world religions  Mystical experience  Neurology and meditation  Skepticism  See also  Notes  References  Sources  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Etymology
<<>>