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DOI 10.12887/32-2019-3-127-18



Fr. Krzysztof SASUŁA – The “Savage Sacred” and Kitsch: Some Remarks on the Aesthetic, Ethical, Psychological, and Theological Aspects of Mysticism


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The article is an attempt to describe the difference between the Christian mystical experience and the experience induced by psychoactive drugs (which is also frequently described as “mystical”). In order to introduce the borderline between the two types of experience the author employs the category of kitsch, as worked out by Hermann Broch, simultaneously describing how to understand the concept of kitsch in its application to the analysis of the experience induced by psychoactive drugs. The author uses the comparative method, juxtaposing texts on the Christian mystical experience (e.g. those by St. John of the Cross) with The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley. Among the most important issues discussed by the author is that of the relationship between truth and beauty, which is rendered differently in the case of each of the two types of experience in question. A drug incited religious vision is described as kitschy. An important concept used throughout the analyses is that of the ‘wild sacred,’ as introduced by Roger Bastide. The ‘wild sacred’ denotes an eclectic, unordered space of religious symbolism engendered by a narcotic vision and, as such, opposed to the experience of a Christian mystic, which is part of a specific religious belief system.

Keywords: mysticism, mystical visions, Christianity, beauty, kitsch, the ‘wild sacred’

Contact: Instytut Jana Pawła II, Wydział Filozofii, Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin
Phone: +48 81 44453217
E-mail: krzysztof.sasula@gmail.com


Pliki do pobrania:

» Sasula.pdf


  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887