The logic of mystery

Religious Studies 43 (1):89-102 (2007)
This paper proposes an analytical taxonomy of ‘mystery’ based upon what makes a mystery mysterious. I begin by distinguishing mysteries that depend on what we do not know (e.g. detective fiction) from mysteries that depend on what we do know (e.g. religious mysteries). Then I distinguish three possible grounds for the latter type. The third and most provocative ground offers a mathematical analogy for how rational reflection can be appropriate to mystery without compromising its intrinsically mysterious character. I conclude with reflections on the metaphysical presuppositions that this understanding of mystery requires. (Published Online January 15 2007).
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