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Document Details :
Title: Mysticism and Freedom
Subtitle: Alois Dempf's Critique of Alfred Rosenberg's Interpretation of Mysticism
Author(s): BOCKEN, Inigo
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 31 Date: 2021
In the first half of the twentieth century, a broad intellectual debate about the meaning of mysticism emerged. This debate also has major political consequences. For the national socialist Alfred Rosenberg in particular, mysticism represents a holistic alternative to a Christian interpretation of reality and thus underpins the naturalistic worldview of national socialism. The German Catholic philosopher Alois Dempf, through his studies of mysticism, aims to show precisely that this worldview cannot be legitimized by reference to mysticism at all. Dempf is a somewhat forgotten thinker with an impressive body of work. In the 1930s he was at the center of the debate about a Christian philosophy. In the discussion about mysticism he sees the battlefield on which the new ideologies of the time can be fought. This contribution describes this debate and also brings out its current relevance for the discussion of holism and naturalism.