Paul: The Mystical Apostle

Problems arise when interpreting the term mystic. On the level of research, the term was studied more profoundly by Lutheran theologian Albert Schweitzer, whose book, The Mystical Life of the Apostle Paul, was recently translated into Italian. In it, he says: “According to its basic nature, the Pauline spirituality is mystical. Of course this is also taken into consideration in his eschatological doctrine and in his juridical doctrine of the redemption, but it’s true and proper life is found in the mystical realm. Paul is therefore a mystic. But he does not have the mentality of a mystic.”

Paul is a mystic and, at the same time, an apostle. Is he first of all an apostle and then a mystic? In reality, the two dimensions are united. When Paul himself speaks about the vocation he received on the way to Damascus (cf. Ga. 1:15-16), he does so in terms of a mystical experience. So then, what do we mean by the term “mystic”?   …Enter PDF