Present Definitions of Mystics and Mys­ticism: Problem of Community of Research Coordinates



  • Anna Rudnytska


mystics, mysticism, mystical experience, religious practice, transcendental reality, sacred, esoteric


The article analyzes the series modern definitions of the terms “mystics” and “mysticism” formulated in scientific works (A. Smirnov, A. Nagorchevskyi, S. Averyntsev, Yu. Shabanova, Ye. Balagushkin, N. Zhyrtuyeva, V. Voloshyn, V. Shokin) and in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. On the basis of analysis, it is concluded that up to nowadays there exists not only a certain terminological uncertainty, but also different “coordinate planes” of the re- search on “mystical”, which is associated with the categories of “sacred”, “esoteric”, “trans- cendental”, etc. Due to the fact that in the context of the psychology of religion mysticism is regarded as a psychological phenomenon, and therefore “mystical experience” (as a kind of “religious experience”) is regarded as a special psychic reality, often, the study of “mysti- cal” is notably psychologically shadowed, sometimes (occasionally entirely) losing the ho- rizon of the transcendent.

Author Biography

Anna Rudnytska

master of religious studies, specialist at the Scientific Editorial-Publishing Sector of the Department of Intellectual Property and Scientific and Technical Information, Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Ministry of Education and Science and NAS of Ukraine; assisting editor (the journal “Sociology: ThMM”, Institute of Sociology, NAS of Ukraine).


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Balahushkyn, E.G. (2008). Mysticism: Theory and History. [In Russian] In E. Balahushkyn, Analytical Theory of mystics and mysticism (рр. 14–71). Moscow: IPRAS. [= Балагушкин, 2008]

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L vi-Strauss, C. (1999). Raw and cooked. [InRussian] In Mythologiques, 1. Moscow, Saint Petersburg: University Book. [= Леви-Стросс, 1999]

Shabanova, U. (2005). Transpersonal metaphysics of Master Eckhart. In the context of the develop- ment of European philosophy. [In Ukrainian] Dnipropetrovsk: National Mining University. [= Шабанова, 2005]

Shokhin, V.K. (2017). Definitions of the Mystical: the First Experience in their Exposition. [In Russian] Philosophy of Religion: Analytic Researches, 1, 1, 279. [= Шохин, 2017]

Smyrnov, A.V., Nakorchevskyy, A.A. (1994). The Dialogue between a Buddhist and a Sufi about what the Truth is. [In Russian] Historical and Philosophical Yearbook (pp. 182–199). Moscow: Science. [= Смирнов, 1994]

Voloshyn, V.V. (2009). Mystical experience: definition, epistemology. [In Russian] Science. Religion. Society, 1, 61–70. [= Волошин, 2009]

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How to Cite

Rudnytska, A. (2020). Present Definitions of Mystics and Mys­ticism: Problem of Community of Research Coordinates: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 85–94. Retrieved from



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