Seeking the Pathos of God in a Secular Age: Theological Reflections on Mystical Experience in the Twentieth Century

Modern Theology 29 (3):248-278 (2013)

Our current context is a “moving” and unstable one. We are facing not only a time of change, but what Pope Benedict XVI terms “an epochal change.” The impact of this transformation upon religion is unmistakable. In this article I reflect on one aspect of this impact: the one that affects and transforms the experience of God, also called mystical experience. I explore the concept of experience, trying to give a more precise idea of what we understand by mystical experience. I then reflect on the importance of mystical biographies and narratives to theology, including the particular characteristics that emerge when this narrative is about the mystical experiences of twentieth‐century people of faith. I present the specific “case” of Dorothy Day as an exemplification of mystical experience. I conclude with several reflections about how human beings find the way towards God in our secular
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DOI 10.1111/moth.12030
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