Gnostic Apocalypse: Jacob Boehme's Haunted Narrative

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SUNY Press, 2002 - Religion - 300 pages
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Jacob Boehme, the seventeenth-century German speculative mystic, influenced the philosophers Hegel and Schelling and both English and German Romantics alike with his visionary thought. Gnostic Apocalypse focuses on the way Boehme’s thought repeats and surpasses post-reformation Lutheran thinking, deploys and subverts the commitments of medieval mysticism, realizes the speculative thrust of Renaissance alchemy, is open to esoteric discourses such as the Kabbalah, and articulates a dynamic metaphysics. This book critically assesses the striking claim made in the nineteenth century that Boehme’s visionary discourse represents within the confines of specifically Protestant thought nothing less than the return of ancient Gnosis. Although the grounds adduced on behalf of the “Gnostic return” claim in the nineteenth century are dismissed as questionable, O’Regan shows that the fundamental intuition is correct. Boehme’s visionary discourse does represent a return of Gnosticism in the modern period, and in this lies its fundamental claim to our contemporary philosophical, theological, and literary attention.
 

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Contents

Narrative Trajectory of the SelfManifesting Divine
31
11 Boehmes SixStage Narrative
32
Narrative Codes
50
13 Trinitarian Configuration of Ontotheological Narrative
52
Discursive Contexts of Boehmes Visionary Narrative
57
21 Alchemy as Discursive Context and its Sublation
58
22 Narrative Deconstitution of Negative Theology
69
Metalepsis Unbounding
83
Valentinianism and Valentinian Enlisting of NonValentinian Narrative Discourses
141
Boehmes Discourse and Valentinian Narrative Grammar
147
Apocalyptic in Boehmes Discourse and its Valentinian Enlisting
161
71 Apocalyptic Inscription and Distention
169
Neoplatonism in Boehmes Discourse and its Valentinian Enlisting
177
81 Valentinian Enlisting of Neoplatonic Narrative
187
Kabbalah in Boehmes Discourse and its Valentinian Enlisting
193
91 Valentinian Enlisting of the Kabbalah
205

Nondistinctive Swerves Boehmes Recapitulation of Minority PreReformation and PostReformation Traditions
87
Distinctive Swerves Toward Metalepsis
103
41 Distinctive Individual Hermeneutic and Theological Swerves
104
Metalepsis
115
Boehmes Visionary Discourse and the Limits of Metalepsis
129
Genealogical Preface
211
Notes
225
Index
277
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About the author (2002)

Cyril O Regan is Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of The Heterodox Hegel and Gnostic Return in Modernity, both published by SUNY Press.

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