Mystical Element of Religion

By Friedrich von Hügel

The classic study of spirituality and mysticism in the Western religious tradition, focussing on the life of Catherine of Genoa.

ISBN: 9780227172612


Friedrich von Hügel’s Mystical Element of Religion remains the authoritative study of the spirituality of Catherine of Genoa. First published in 1908, this seminal work develops the author’s major theory of the three basic elements of religion, institutional, intellectual and mystical.

Von Hügel shows how Catherine’s mysticism relates to her life and thought, making his comprehensive and masterly two-volume analysis a classic in the study of Western mysticism.

Additional information

Dimensions 216 × 140 mm
Pages 502 (Volume 1), 428 (Volume 2)


Volume 1  |  Volume 2  |  2 Volume Set

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Baron Friedrich von Huegel was an influential Roman Catholic lay philosopher and writer. He was born in Florence, Italy, in 1852 and moved fifteen years later with his family to England where he remained for the rest of his life. He never held an academic post nor did he ever earn a university degree. However, he is often mentioned alongside John Henry Newman as one of the most influential Catholic thinkers of his day.


Volume I: Introduction and Biographies

Preface to the 1923 Edition
Note to the Second Impression
Preface to the First Edition

Part I: Introduction
I. The Three Chief Forces of Western Civilization
II. The Three Elements of Religion

Part II: Biographical
III. Catherine Fiesca Adorna’s Life, up to her Conversion; and the Chief Peculiarities predominant throughout her Convert Years
IV. Catherine’s Life, 1473 to 1506, and its Main Changes and Growth
V. Catherine’s Last Four Years, 1506-1510. Sketch of her Character, Doctrine, and Spirit
VI. Catherine’s Doctrine
VII. Catherine’s Remains and Cultus; the Fate of her Two Priest Friends and of her Domestics; and the Remaining History of Ettore Vernazza
VIII. Battista Vernazza’s Life

Conclusion to Volume I: Wherein Lies the Secret of Spiritual Persuasiveness

Appendix to Part II: Chronological Account and Critical Analysis of the Materials for the Re-constitution of Saint Catherine’s Life and Teaching

Volume II: Critical Studies

Part III: Critical
IX. Psycho-physical and Temperamental Questions
X. The Main Literary Sources of Catherine’s Conceptions
XI. Chapter XI. — Catherine’s Less Ultimate This-World Doctrines
XII. The After-Life Problems and Doctrines
XIII. The First Three Ultimate Questions
XIV. The Two Final Problems: Mysticism and Pantheism. The Immanence of God, and Spiritual Personality, Human and Divine
XV. Summing-up of the Whole Book. Back through Asceticism, Social Religion, and the Scientific Habit of Mind, to the Mystical Element of Religion



Endorsements and Reviews

Indispensable. The best work in mysticism in the English language.
Evelyn Underhill

An event of prime importance to a wide circle of students of religious phenomena.
The Birmingham Post