Saturday, April 12, 2008

On ‘faddish appreciation for gnosticism’
Rather like Fake Celtic Spirituality™ for academicians: a blank screen on which to project one’s objections to Christian orthodoxy. I remember a similar point made around the time The Da Vinci Code was popular and there was all this hype (free advertising) for the flop film version. (Gnosticism, pro-woman; Catholicism, bad... erm, no.) I’ve read Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels and thankfully only got historical information about those many sects and didn’t take on board any heretical spin. The points made here in Fr Chris Tessone’s entry and the comments echo Abbot Aelred Carlyle to young James Wedgewood that the mysticism he sought in Theosophy, reacting against that time and place’s version of ‘the institutional, “pillars of the community” faith of 1950s liberal Protestantism and the crypto-gnostic, politically high-tension faith of the religious right’ (in 1910s England brass’n’class Tory religion?), can be found and ‘on sounder lines’ in Catholic mysticism.

And then there was Chesterton, trying to invent the most mind-blowing heresy he could imagine and ending up with... orthodoxy.

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