Mystik och metod. Albert Schweitzers tolkning av Paulus teologi i ljuset av den "mystika vändningen"
Mysticism and method. Albert Schweitzer's interpretation of the theology of Paul in the light of the "mystical turn"
This essay is an attempt to study some post-modern theological positions with regard to their growing interest in the use of mystical theology and mysticism in theological research in the academic post-modern world, and to see if the 19th century theologian Albert Schweitzer could prove a resource for this understanding of mystical theology. This position is known in the essay as ”the mystical turn.” To present the background and understanding of this post-modern view of mystical theology the essay presents three theologians, namely: Andrew Louth, Mark A. McIntosh and Sarah Coakley. These three theologians argue for the use of a contemplative and transforming mysticism as a postmodern epistemology in relation to theological research, with growing concern of the status of theology in the secular and post-modern world. Having made clear the views of these three theologians the essay then presents Albert Schweitzer's view on the mysticism of Paul. Schweitzer has, in addition to his work on mysticism in general, made a detailed research on the mysticism of Paul which is principally found in his book 'The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle'. This essay shows that a focus on Paul and the New Testament seems to be a missing piece in the argument for the understanding and use of mystical theology as presented by Louth, McIntosh and Coakley. Studying the view of Paul's Christ-mysticism, as understood by Schweitzer, shows that the mysticism of Paul connects with the views of these three post-modern theologians in interesting ways. A deeper study in Schweitzer's interpretation of Paul's teaching of the sacraments reveals not only that Paul's understanding is a product of his Christ-mysticism, but that this mysticism is of the same contemplative form of mysticism as in the ideas produced by Louth, McIntosh and Coakley. The main conclusion of this essay is that Schweitzer's interpretation of Paul's mysticism may well be of use for the post-modern interest in the rehabiliation of mystical theology.