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The term mysticism is a derogatory term for uncritical, enthusiastic and religiously exaggerated behavior. According to Immanuel Kant, it describes "mystical behavior and a tendency towards mysticism or the mystical". Furthermore, the judgment of mysticism is applied to a variety of religious obscurantism that is perceived as remote and conspiratorial .


The word mysticism emerged as a polemical term towards the end of the 18th century in the course of the Kantian Enlightenment and was particularly widespread among the free-spirited movement of the 19th century, e.g. B. in Karl Marx and the blossoming criticism of religion . Kant himself in his work Critique of Practical Reason designates mysticism, here explicitly the mysticism of practical reason as that way of thinking which “makes that which only served as a symbol, into a scheme; this is real, and yet not sensual, conceptions (of an invisible kingdom of God) subject to the application of moral concepts and drifts out into exuberance ”.

Mystification (or mystification ) accordingly denotes a (more or less deliberately brought about) state of bias or confusion of a subject who is fundamentally capable of enlightenment in mystery , deception or error. In addition to its ideology-critical use, the term is also used to describe schizophrenic familial forms of communication, for example in the context of the double bond theory .

The origin of the term mysticism is on the one hand the word mysticism , a particular piety practice that emerged in the Middle Ages, on the other hand its English translation mysticism .

Example fortune telling coins

Random appearances in the coin image, such as the tear of the stamp through the neck of the Lord Protector on the Cromwelltaler or the broken sword of the Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous on some Schmalkaldic Bundestalers from 1547, the year of his capture, were made before the time of the Enlightenment sometimes subsequently mistaken for the outcome of an event as a good or bad omen.

Web links

Wiktionary: Mysticism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Art. Mysticism, in: Rudolf Eisler, Dictionary of Philosophical Terms, 1904
  2. Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 86
  3. ^ Carl Christoph Schmieder: Concise Dictionary of Entire Coin Studies (1811), pp. 103/104