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

Visionary Pansophism and the Narrativity of the Divine
27
Discursive Contexts of Boehmes Visionary Narrative
57
Metalepsis Unbounding
83
Toward Metalepsis
103
Boehmes Visionary Discourse and the Limits
129
ofNonValentinian Narrative Discourses
141
Boehmes Discourse and Valentinian
147
Apocalyptic in Boehmes Discourse and
161
Neoplatonism in Boehmes Discourse and
177
Kabbalah in Boehmes Discourse and
193
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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