Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times
R. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff
SUNY Press, 1998 - Religion - 402 pages
This volume introduces what has sometimes been called "the third component of western culture". It traces the historical development of those religious traditions which have rejected a world view based on the primacy of pure rationality or doctrinal faith, emphasizing instead the importance of inner enlightenment or gnosis: a revelatory experience which was typically believed to entail an encounter with one's true self as well as with the ground of being, God.
The contributors to this book demonstrate this perspective as fundamental to a variety of interconnected traditions. In Antiquity, one finds the gnostics and hermetics; in the Middle Ages several Christian sects. The medieval Cathars can, to a certain extent, be considered part of the same tradition. Starting with the Italian humanist Renaissance, hermetic philosophy became of central importance to a new religious synthesis that can be referred to as Western Esotericism. The development of this tradition is described from Renaissance hermeticists and practitioners of spiritual alchemy to the emergence of Rosicrucianism and Christian theosophy in the seventeenth century, and from post-enlightenment aspects of Romanticism and occultism to the present-day New Age movement.
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GNOSTICISM AND HERMETISM IN ANTIQUITY Two Roads to Salvation
GNOSTIC AND HERMETIC ETHICS
MANICHAEISM Its Sources and Influences on Western Christianity
A CHRISTIAN GNOSTIC TEXT The Gospel of Truth
THE ASCLEPIUS From the Hermetic Lodge in Alexandria to the Greek Eucharist and the Roman Mass
A READING OF THE DISCOURSE ON THE OGDOAD AND THE ENNEAD NAG HAMMADI CODEX VI6
THE CATHARS Medieval Gnostics?
RENAISSANCE HERMETICISM AND THE CONCEPT OF WESTERN ESOTERICISM
HERMETICISM IN EARLY ROSICRUCIANISM
CHRISTIAN THEOSOPHIC LITERATURE OF THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
ROMANTICISM AND THE ESOTERIC CONNECTION
WILLIAM BLAKE AND HIS GNOSTIC MYTHS
WESTERN ESOTERIC SCHOOLS IN THE LATE NINETEENTH AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURIES
STOCKHAUSENS DONNERSTAG A US LICHT AND GNOSTICISM
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT AND THE ESOTERIC TRADITION