Mistisizm ve Toplum: Orta Çağ İslam ve Hıristiyan Toplumlarında Dervişler ve Keşişler (13-15. Yüzyıllar)
Solgun, Yunus Emre
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The concept of mysticism, which is defined as the spiritual experience of reaching the reality, infinity and unity behind the appearing objects, represents itself as the ideal of reaching spiritual salvation by establishing a spiritual connection with God in Islam and Christianity. The methods of fullfilling this goal are varied between different mystical doctrines in both two religions. Most of the first Muslim and Christian mystics were considering social life as an obstacle on the way of spiritual salvation. So, most of the early mistics adopted a lifestyle based on seclusion and were performing self-discipline based practices such as fasting, invocation and contemplation. There were also some other unpopular mystic doctrines in that time. These doctrines were based on reaching spiritual salvation by serving others. In later periods, this situation had changed by reversal. The growing intention of Christian and Muslim societies’ toward mystics during the times of political and social crisis, was a fertile environment for social service oriented mystics to reach their goals. Especially between 13th and 15th centuries, they found an opportunity to expand their sphere of influence and organize. Moreover, the intention of society had brought an intense financial support to mystics as well, and this support contributed the institutionalization process of mystical orders greatly. The increasing attention and financial support towards mystical orders benefitted their institutionalizing process under the physical structures such as lodges and monasteries. In these places, mystics found an opportunity to perform their ascetic practices, and an aid of infastructure for their social services such as lodging travelers, taking part in production activities, public preaching, educational activities etc. These activities of mystics took attention of ruling class and benefactor nobility as well, and mystics assumed an intermediary role for their philanthropic activities towards poor folk in time.