Mysticism did not cease within the Catholic Church at the Reformation.
St Bernard's mysticism is of a practical cast, dealing mainly with the means by which man may attain to the knowledge and enjoyment of God.
These are the permanent outlines of what may be called the philosophy of mysticism in Christian times, and it is remarkable with how little variation they are repeated from age to age.
The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.
Mysticism first appears in the medieval Church as the protest of practical religion against the predominance of the dialectical spirit.