Mystical Theology


One of the subdivisions of theology classed under the more general division of Moral Theology. It is sometimes identified with Ascetical Theology, but it seems more proper to confine its definition in such a way as to distinguish it precisely by its specific name of “Mystical,” from that which is more properly called “Ascetical.” According to this stricter definition it is described as comprising two parts viz. the doctrinal and the experimental. The experimental is defined as “a pure knowledge of God which the soul ordinarily receives in a luminous darkness or obscure light of sublime contemplation, together with an experimental love so intimate that the soul, losing itself altogether, is united to God and transformed into Him.” This is called Theology because it contains acts proximately referred to God as their object. Mystical because acquired by a secret operation known only to God and the recipient of His Divine favors; and experimental, because it is only by personal spiritual experience that such a knowledge of God can be gained.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Mystical Theology”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 6 March 2021. <>