Title of the article:



Natalia S. Zhirtueva 

Information about the author/authors

Natalia S. Zhirtueva — DSc in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Professor Department “Political Science and Philosophy”, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations, Sevastopol State University, Universitetskaya St., 33, 299053 Sevastopol, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2386-1332. E-mail: zhr_nata@bk.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 61


pp. 104–114


November 25, 2019

Date of publication

September 28, 2021



Index UDK


Index BBK



The phenomenon of mysticism is one of the most controversial issues in modern humanities. We still lack generally accepted typology for mystical traditions of the world. The paper studies the issue of correlation between material and ideal beings, which constituted the basis of the most common typology of mystical doctrines. The research of mystical traditions, formed in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism is carried out on the basis of the comparative analysis methodology. The author comes to the conclusion that one may trace two stages in the mysticism’s development. The first one, ascetic, which favors the conflict-based opposition of spirit and matter, calls for renouncing the material and caring for it. At a later stage, the need to overcome the dualism of the spiritual and the material matures within the mystical teachings. There are two possible ways of development depending on the perception of the Absolute reality. Only the path of unification of “created” and “uncreated being” is possible in Christianity and Islam, which are based on the idea of the transcendental Absolute. In Christianity, it is achieved through the concepts of “deification of the flesh” (Orthodox Hesychasm) and “unity in Christ” (Catholic mysticism of love), and in Islam with the help of the “doctrine of love” (Sufism). Therefore integrative mystical traditions arise in transcendental and immanent mysticism. The basis of Buddhism is the idea of an immanent Absolute, which embodies the Integrity of being. In this way the holistic mystical traditions of Mahayana and Vajrayana are developed in the immanent mysticism. Thus, the mystical phenomenon has a historical measurement and its development must be considered in the context of evolution of a spiritual life of mankind.


mysticism, asceticism, integrative mystical traditions, holistic mystical traditions.


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