Esoteric Christianity Resources
Most of the sites below offer material for thought, and occasionally give clues to the esoteric interpretation of the Bible. Read with a critical mind. (The same applies to the scholarly sites listed above.)
The beginning of a definitive esoteric interpretation of the Bible.
The website to go with the controversial books, the Jesus Mysteries, and Jesus and the Lost Goddess, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy. Their central hypothesis, that there never was a historical Jesus at the root of Christianity, is one that I disagree with, but their books promote a symbolic interpretation of the gospels, and show that Christianity was both a Jewish and Hellenistic phenomenon. These books contain a tremendous amound of useful material and food for thought.
Praxis have published many books on esoteric Christianity, including Boris Mouravieff's Gnosis and Robin Amis' A Different Christianity. .
The link is down at the moment, but this site used to contain an online book, Whereunto Shall I Compare this Generation, by Foliago. Although I may disagree with many of his interpretations, this is a finely arguedallegorical interpretation of the Bible.
Mysticism during the Talmudic Era. A nice collection of mystical Jewish texts from the first few centuries of this era.
Reincarnation in early Christianity. A collection of primary sources that show that many of the early Christian writerss believed that the soul experiences many lifetimes.
An article on Fourth Way & Esoteric Christianity by Rebecca Nottingham
Exoteric And Esoteric Christianity, A lecture by Rudolf Steiner.
Books on Esoteric Christianity Available from Amazon.com
This is the book that first opened up the esoteric understanding of the gospels. Nicoll was a student of both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. During the Second World War Nicoll began work on the essays that would later be published as The New Man. Nicoll gave psychological and spiritual interpretations of some of the parables and miracles of Jesus in terms of a symbolic language that had both a literal and an esoteric meaning. He didn’t use specific Fourth Way terminology, which limited him a little, but even so he was the first in print to offer a convincing Fourth Way key to the Bible. Nicoll died in 1953, Ouspensky in 1947, Gurdjieff in 1949, and Collin in 1956, so none of them were ever able to read the complete Gospel of Thomas, which was published in 1959.
This is the posthumously published follow up to the New Man. Nicoll seems more confident in his interpretations here, and there is a lot to be extracted from this book.
Richard Smoley used to be the editor of Gnosis magazine. This is an eclectic introduction to material on esoteric Christianity. It includes Gurdjieff, and briefly covers a Nicoll-style interpretation, but also includes Steiner, a Course in Miracles etc. He also covers a good range of Christian writers and groups through the ages.
Gnosis Volumes 1-3. Mouravieff knew both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and grudgingly acknowledges them in the introduction. This extensive work never quite hits the mark for me, but it must be mentioned.
A Different Christianity. A sincere and thorough approach to esoteric Christianity via the Fourth Way and Orthodox tradition.
The Work Life. Contains a fair amount on the Bible, and even includes some extracts from and comments on the Gospel of Thomas, from a meeting held in 1959, the year that the Gospel of Thomas was made public. Beryl Pogson, who was Dr Nicoll's secretary, also wrote a commentary on St. John's Gospel.
The Christian Mystery. An ecstatic attempt to put the whole development of Christianity onto the enneagram. Not something to be read logically.
Meister Eckhart had a profound understanding of Christianity that comes close to the Fourth Way interpretation; he understood about the many 'I's, for example.
The New Testament translated by Richmond Lattimore A literal and elegant modern translation.
Writings from the Philokalia on the Prayer of the Heart This selection is translated by Mme. Kadloubovsky, who was Mr. Ouspensky's secretary. She also put together the book The Fourth Way from meeting records. Also look for the full version of the Philokalia in five volumes, four of which have so far been published.
All of the texts found at Nag Hammadi, with short scholarly introductions; a wide variety of writings. Apart from the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip and the Exegesis of the Soul are among the gems of this collection.
The Jesus Mysteries. A stimulating book, with lots of material on early esoteric understanding in Christianity, controversial (and, in my view, flawed) in thinking that Jesus didn't exist.
Jesus and the Lost Goddess . The follow up to the Jesus Mysteries. Amogst other highlights, this has good summary of the Gnostic myth of Sophia (the goddess of the title.)
of Thomas Material:
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