Mystique, politique et maladie mentale. Historicités croisées (France, c. 1830 - c. 1900)

Translated title of the contribution: Mysticism, politics and mental illness. Overlapping historicities (France, C. 1830-C. 1900)

Tiago Pires Marques*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Departing from the issue of the historicity of mysticism, developed by Michel de Certeau, this paper discusses the different interpretations of religious events considered pathological, delivered by the aliénistes and psychiatrists in France between the 1830s and the last decade of the 19 th century. Through a historical and epistemological analysis of concepts such as « monomania », « religious delusion » and « mysticism », this paper develops the argument that French aliénisme and psychiatry reflect a broader political and religious context, marked indelibly by prophetic and messianic movements and individual hopes. The article reconstructs the process of naturalization of religious pathos, highlighting the political and religious normativities that have underpinned it. Finally, I analyze the new problems that the naturalization of religion created in the field of psychiatry, and observe briefly their impact in the field of humanities, spirituality and philosophy.
Translated title of the contributionMysticism, politics and mental illness. Overlapping historicities (France, C. 1830-C. 1900)
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)37-74
Number of pages38
JournalRevue d'Histoire des Sciences Humaines
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2011


  • Aliénisme
  • Messianic beliefs
  • Michel de Certeau
  • Mystical delusions
  • Psychiatry


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