Get access

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



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.