On Not Buying into Ancient Propaganda

When I was working on Gnostic and New Testament Studies and stuff like that at the GTU in the 1970s, there was one especially important book I could not get hold of: the Panarion (“Medicine Chest for Heresies”) by Epiphanius (d. A.D. 403).  More precisely, I could not find a translation of it. The Greek text I could find, in Professor Migne’s collection of all the writings by the Church Fathers, in Greek and in Latin, from many centuries. Not a vast number of libraries own the complete set of abo … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 5: The Work Begins

VII. The Work Begins  To Zeus all things are beautiful, just, and good, but men have supposed some things to be just, others unjust.At eight o'clock on Saturday night, I walked up the steps to Brendan and Megan’s house on the hillside behind the campus, the sort of Tudorish half-timbered mansion you might expect a college professor with lots of kids to have. The members of the ad hoc translating committee were already filling the circle of overstuffed chairs and couches in Megan’s li … [Read more...]

On My Love for Sophia, Our Lady of Wisdom and Mercy

It is common to suppose that knowledge is not wisdom, but just what is the difference between them? Mapping knowledge is easy enough: mathematics, science, humanities, social studies (they should be scholarly, but they are not sciences), then dividing them into categories, subcategories, and so on, down to a subncategory small enough that one can know everything relevant to that tiny slice of reality. That is the ambition of almost every academic researcher. But as a result, said researcher … [Read more...]

On Gnosticism, the Book of Shadows, and Sex

I received a few days ago my monthly statistical report from Patheos on how many hits I received last month, total, per day, per blog, etc. My total has been running just under 5,000. If I get up to 12,500, I start getting paid (hint, hint). It was interesting to see that the greatest number of hits were on two blogs: “On Jesus as a Gnostic” and “Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows.” I suppose I might garner some more hits if I expand upon those particular topics. I also see I’ve written somew … [Read more...]

Empower the True Muslims;They Are Hope for Humanity

On Sunday morning I was thinking about the day’s options for maintaining myself in a fit spiritual condition, getting on with the process started by the Third Step. Pagans in general, like everybody else in general, do not like the idea of turning one’s life over to the care of a Higher Power. I remember a day when a beautiful young gay Witch was saying to Lady Epona, “I can’t turn my life over to anyone!”She replied, “What do you think you did at your initiation?”“Oh,” he replied.(He … [Read more...]

I Had a Jewish Grandfather Named Kelly

Even in my forties, I still learned things by talking with my mother. On her sixty-fourth birthday, I asked her, "About your father.  What did he feel, believe, do?”"He came to Mass, stood in back, helped to collect the money, and especially he liked Mary.”"But did he think he was Jewish?”"Why, yes, of course. All the Scheers had converted in Germany, but only because they had to. Over here they could choose what to be.”"Then they were .. . . Marranos?”"Who?”"That's Spanis … [Read more...]

Knowledge Rather Than Faith

What serves as my religion was formed in an instant when I was 14. Ever since, I have searched for adequate vehicles to express it in practical ways. What I know from that experience is how the Divine felt to me. That knowledge is a foundation, primordial relative to all specific religions. It enables me to be aware of the presence of the divine in almost any context, Christian or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist or Pagan, as long as I remember to pay attention, which I sometimes don’t, at least not at … [Read more...]

On Being Outside All the Boxes

Having been working (for a long time) on a novel about the same alternative universe as in my Goddess Murder, I have been looking for books on Mary Magdalene, the Gnostics, and suchlike. Recently I found Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Don’t be put off by the title. It is a well-balanced anthology of interviews with and essays by the leading scholars, largely women, of Gnosticism, early Christianity, and related fields, and by women novelists, not the hack writers whose forgettable novels clutter l … [Read more...]

Imagine Jesus Holding Hands with the Goddess

I am not satisfied with any “mainstream” version of Christianity or any particular Tradition within the Craft movement as being an adequate spiritual path for our times. Using Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled as an objective measurement, both fall far short of what is needed.One cannot talk about both Christianity and the Craft in the same breath IF if one defines them in such a way that they share no common ground at all. Certainly a Christology that defines Jesus as the Lord of Glory, a … [Read more...]

The Gnostic Bible: A Review

gnostic-bible-barnstone-willis-meyer-marvin-paperback-cover-art

The Gnostic Bible (Boston & London: Shabala, rev. ed., 2009; $29.95 [a bargain]) collects many important documents from the early sects that have been lumped together under the umbrella term of “Gnostic.” It was edited, with many of the documents translated, by Willis Barnstone (who, among his other achievements, has carried out the best translations of Sappho ever) and the late Marvin Meyer (whom I had the pleasure of knowing since my salad days in the AAR and who, I just learned, passed ove … [Read more...]


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