Prof. Karel Werner of SOAS, Religious studies Department, University of London, reviewed the history of Mysticism contrasting paths of doctrinal belief and ecstatic mystical union. His statement that ‘belief in doctrine was childish’ caused some discussion. He compared also the experience of interfaith dialogue and relationships today with the communities of mystics who have appeared throughout history. He added that the backlash against those who transcended their belief to enter an ecstatic, mystical oneness has also been a common historical theme.
The lecture first attempted a definition of mysticism and then search for its roots or beginnings.