Definitions

mystagogical

Mystagogue

[mis-tuh-gawg, -gog]
A mystagogue is a person who initiates others into mystic beliefs, an educator or person who has knowledge of the Sacred Mysteries or magick.

In ancient mystery religions, a mystagogue would be responsible for leading an initiate into the secret teachings and rituals of the cultus. The initiate would often be blindfolded, and the mystagogue would literally "guide" him into the sacred space.

In the early church, this same concept was used to describe the bishop, who was responsible for seeing to it that the catechumens were properly prepared for baptism. Homilies given to those in the last stages of preparation, and which deal with the Sacraments are called "Mystagogical Homilies." Sometimes these mystagogical instructions were not given until after the catechumen had been baptized. The most famous of these mystagogical works are the "Mystagogical Homilies" of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and the work, "On the Mysteries" by St. Ambrose of Milan.

In various organizations, it is the role of the mystagogue to "mystify" pledges. The term is sometimes used to refer to a person who guides people through religious sites, such as churches, and explains the various artifacts.

Max Weber, considered to be one of the founders of the modern study of sociology, described the mystagogue as part magician, part prophet; and as one who dispersed "magical actions that contain the boons of salvation According to Roy Wallis, "The primary criterion that Weber had in mind in distinguishing the prophet from the mystagogue was that the latter offers a largely magical means of salvation rather than proclaiming a radical religious ethic or an example to be followed.

References

Search another word or see mystagogicalon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature