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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The study of mysticism and mystical theology implies the study of texts, and the general principles of scientific literary analysis are applied here. Nevertheless, mystical literature contains a number of elements that are worthy of specific enquiry. The first is that as a linguistic form, these texts have a unique ‘referent’—i.e. that the connection between the signifiant and the signifié is exceptional. Second, it is important to note that mystical literature consists of a wide variety of literary genres, which is partly related to the mystical authors’ motives for writing, the concrete circumstances in which these texts were written, and the intended readers. Third, these texts often function(ed) in difficult (historical and theological) contexts, which is a determining factor in terms of intertextuality and reception history.

Keywords: mystical texts, genres of mystical texts, intertextuality of mystical texts, reception history of mystical texts, intended readers

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