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Myconius, Friedrich

(Mecum; Mekum; 1490–1546). Luth. reformer of Thuringia; b. Lichtenfels, Upper Franconia, N Bav., Ger.; Franciscan priest 1516; follower of M. Luther 1517; preacher and pastor Gotha 1524/25; present at Colloquy of Marburg 1529 (see Lutheran Confessions, A 2), the 1537 meeting of the Schmalkaldic League (see Lutheran Confessions, B 2), Hagenau* Colloquy 1540; signed Wittenberg* Concord 1536; took part in visitation of Thuringia 1528/29 and 1533; ducal Saxony 1539. Works include Historia Reformationis.

M. Meurer, “Friedrich Mykonius Leben,” Das Leben der Altväter der lutherischen Kirche, IV, ed. m. Meurer et al. (Leipzig and Dresden, 1864), 300–401.

Myconius, Oswald

(Geisshüssler; Molitoris; 1488–1552). B. Lucerne, Switz.; educ. Basel; taught in Basel and Zurich; co-worker of H. Zwingli.* Helped write 1st Basel Confession (see Reformed Confessions, A 5) and the 1st Helvetic Confession (see Reformed Confessions, A 6).

Mylius, Georg

(Miller; Müller; Gering; ca. 1544/48–1607). B. Augsburg, Ger.; educ. Strasbourg, Marburg, Tübingen; pastor Augsburg 1571, later supt. and rector there; deposed 1584 for opposing Gregorian calendar; prof. Wittenberg and Jena. Coauthor Articles* of Visitation; other works include Exodus evangelica; Send- und Trostbrieff; Bapstpredigten; Augustanae confessionis … explicatio; In epistolam D. Pauli ad Romanos.

Mynster, Jacob Pier

(Jakob Peter; 1775–1854). B. Copenhagen, Den.; educ. Copenhagen; pastor on Sjaelland (Zealand) 1802; chaplain Copenhagen 1812; tutor Copenhagen 1813; court preacher 1826; bp. Sjaelland (highest ch. office in Den.) 1834–54; opposed N. F. S. Grundtvig* and rationalism. Works include Kleine theologische Schriften.


(Holy Myron; from Gk. myron, “ointment”). Name of holy oils* used in liturgical ceremonies of the E Ch.

Myslenta, Cölestin

(1588–1653). Luth. leader; b. Kutten, East Prussia; prof. theol. (1616), preacher, inspector Königsberg (Kaliningrad); opposed syncretism* of G. Calixtus,* C. Dreier,* and J. Latermann.*

Mystagogical Theology

(from Gk. mystagogia, “initiation into mysteries”). Theol. that interprets or involves religious mysticism* or mysteries.


(Mystery plays). Plays performed in Middle Ages in chs. or in the streets for religious instruction by means of amusement. See also Religious Drama.

Mystery Religions.

Ancient religions with secret rites of initiation. Most important: Gk., Phrygian, Syrian, Egyptian, Persian. See also Cybele; Greek Religion; Isis; Mithraism.

Mystical Union.

Spiritual relationship est. bet. a Christian and God by the indwelling of God, esp. the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:23; Ro 8:15; 1 Co 3:16; 6:15, 19; 2 Co 6:16; Gl 4:6; Eph 3:17); est. by the gift of justifying faith (Gl 3:2); to be distinguished from false mysticism.* See also Advent of Christ; Faith, Justifying; Sacrament and the Sacraments, F.


(from Gk. mystikos, “mystical; secret”). A. Term applied to a wide range of phenomena (e.g., demonology,* magic,* dreaminess, weird experiences, occultism [see Spiritism; Theosophy], certain philosophies of life). Mysticism may be divided: (1) Contemplative (as in Augustine* of Hippo, J. Eckhart,* R. W. Emerson,* Plotinus*); (2) Personal, emphasizing personal communion with God (as in Thomas* à Kempis, Fra Angelico,* F. de S. de la M. Fénelon,* G. Fox,* T. Kagawa*); (3) Nature (as in Francis* of Assisi, W. Wordsworth*); (4) Practical, marked by sacrificial service prompted by love.

The goal of mysticism is the alleged intuitive and emotional contact with the Absolute (“that which is,” “the Good,” “God,” and many other ultimate spiritual values). In its practical aspects, mysticism is the attempt to apperceive, use, and enjoy ultimate values.

Following steps may be distinguished in mysticism: (1) freeing oneself from wrong; (2) freeing oneself of the phantasmata of the world; (3) departure into the realm of the pure through contemplation and yearning; (4) mystic view or experience. Mysticism is not so much a doctrine as a method of thought, a reaching for the Infinite through methods of reasoning and attempted direct contemplation. The word “contemplation” is often used for mystic experience in pre-Renaissance W writers.

In his early period M. Luther* ed. Deutsche Theologie (see “German Theology”) and commended the work of J. Tauler* (St. L. ed., XXIa, 56). J. Staupitz* was a mystic. But Luther's system centered in the external Word of God and its doctrine of justification. He condemned the mysticism of Sebastian Franck,* A. R. B. v. Karlstadt,* T. Münzer, K. v. Schwenkfeld,* N. Storch (see Zwickau Prophets).

B. Other mystics include Adam* of St. Victor, Angela* de Foligno, J. Böhme,* Bernard* of Clairvaux, Bonaventura,* N. Cabasilas,* Catherine* of Siena, Clement* of Alexandria, R. Crashaw,* Dionysius* the Areopagite, (2), Gertrude the Great (see Gertrude, 1), Gregory* of Nyssa, Guyon,* Hildegard* of Bingen, W. Hilton,* F. v. Hügel,* Hugh* of St. Victor, W. R. Inge,* Jacopone* da Todi, W. James,* John* of the Cross, R. M. Jones,* Julian(a)* of Norwich, W. Law,* Luis* de Granada, Mechthild* of Hackeborn, Mechthild* of Magdeburg, M. de Molinos,* Richard* of St. Victor, R. Rolle* de Hampole, J. v. Ruysbroeck,* H. Suso,* Teresa* of Ávila, E. Underhill.* EL

See also Buber, Martin; Mystical Union; Sufism; Taoism; Yoga.

C. A. A. Bennett, A Philosophical Study of Mysticism (New Haven, Connecticut, 1923); W. K. Fleming, Mysticism in Christianity (London, 1913); E. C. Butler, Western Mysticism, 3d ed. (London, 1967); M. Smith, An Introduction to the History of Mysticism (New York, 1930) and Studies in Early Mysticism in the Near and Middle East (London, 1931); R. M. Jones, New Studies in Mystical Religion (New York, 1927); W. R. Inge, Christian Mysticism (London, 1899) and The Philosophy of Plotinus, 3d ed. (London, 1929); E. Underhill, Mysticism, 6th ed. (London, 1916) and The Essentials of Mysticism and Other Essays (London, 1920); R. Otto, Mysticism East and West, tr. B. L. Bracey and R. C. Payne (New York, 1932).


(Gk. mythos, “talk; myth”). 1. Story ostensibly relating hist. events which usually explain some belief, custom, institution, or phenomenon. 2. Story in which deity acts in space and time. 3. Presentation of primitive, eschatological, or other-worldly truth in this-wor ldly language and form. 4. Story invented as veiled explanation of truth. 5. Imaginary person or thing either nonexistent or incapable of verification.

See also Demythologization; Gabler, Johann Philip.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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