The Beginnings Of Christianity: Essene Mystery, Gnostic Revelation And The Christian Vision
The Beginnings of Christianity: Essene Mystery, Gnostic Revelation and the Christian Vision
Early Christianity had a powerful esoteric current. This is reflected in the New Testament writings of Mark, Paul and above all, John. Gnostic Christians tried to preserve this tradition, using the archaic mysteries as a way to knowledge (gnosis) of higher cosmic truths. But the Gnostic sects were finally suppressed by an orthodoxy which, Andrew Welburn concludes, had lost sight of the 'dynamic of the self'.The full scope of the traditions on which the Gnostics drew is clearer following the modern archaeological finds at Qumran and Nag Hammadi. As a result of these discoveries, the boundaries have started to fade between the ancient pagan mysteries, Jewish tradition, especially as found in the Essene sect, and early Christian belief.Welburn discovers a real kinship between this present age and the early Christians, and shows how, in a way not possible for the Reformation Church, we now have the chance to rediscover the spiritual world and meaning of Christian beginnings.Review"'Readers interested in the origins of Christianity and its hidden esoteric current will find The Beginnings of Christianity: Essene Mystery, Gnostic Revelation and the Christian Vision an outstanding and informative scholarly study.'- Midwest Book Review'The book speaks to our modern condition in its resonance between ancient and contemporary philosophy.'- Scientific & Medical Network Review'Welburn is well-read in the ancient sources, many of them largely neglected in most treatments of Christian origins. Welburn has cast his net more widely and in less-fished places.'- Robert M. Price, Journal of Higher Criticism'A fascinating book on the origins of Christianity... The arguments throughout are detailed... Readers interested in the origins of Christianity and its hidden esoteric current will find this an outstandingly interesting scholarly study.'- Scientific and Medical Network Review'Readers of this fascinating book will be convinced by its historical reconstruction to the extent that they are convinced by the doctrines of anthroposophy.'- Birger A. Pearson, Religious Studies Review'This is a fascinating read. To all those questioning folk out there, I thoroughly recommend it.'- Roderick Craig, Ergodebooks reviewerAbout the AuthorAndrew Welburn taught at the University of London, has been a Fellow of the Warburg Institute and taught at New College, Oxford, until 2005. He is author of Gnosis: The Mysteries and Christianity, and Rudolf Steiner: Philosopher of Freedom.
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