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Albert Schweitzer

The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle

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In The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle Albert Schweitzer goes against Luther and the Protestant tradition to look at what Paul actually writes in the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians: an emphasis upon the personal experience of the believer with the divine. Paul's mysticism was not like the mysticism elsewhere described as a soul being at one with God. In the mysticism he felt and encouraged, there is no loss of self but an enriching of it; no erasure of time or place but a comprehension of how time and place fit within the eternal. Schweitzer writes that Paul's mysticism is especially profound, liberating, and precise. Typical of Schweitzer, he introduces readers to his point of view at once, then describes in detail how he came to it, its scholarly antecedents, what its implications are, what objections have been raised, and why all of this matters. To students of the New Testament, this book opens up Paul by presenting him as offering an entirely new kind of mysticism, necessarily and exclusively Christian.