24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Everpresence of Gnosis,
This review is from: Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times (Paperback)
A wonderful book.
The breadth of coverage is great: over 2000 years of Gnostic groups and individuals, among them Cathars, Sufis, Jacob Bohme, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Carl Jung, and Rudolf Steiner.
Within each topic, there's suprising depth of coverage. The coverage of the Sufis is beautiful writing. The coverage of Aleister Crowley is enthusiastic and complex. This is in no way a dry survey. Nevertheless, the writing is backed up with 42 pages of footnotes and a 7 page bibliography. Altogether, many pointers to further reading on Gnosticism.
There were some surprises for me about who could be considered Gnostic: for example, the coverage of the Troubadours and, more recently, Jimi Hendrix. Churton is able to define Gnosticism through those he has selected to represent it. It's a long way from Valentinus to Hendrix, to be sure, but Churton quite capably threads together the many individuals and groups he considers Gnostic. In doing so, he moves from history to presence, so that he may, as if he did for me, provide you a vital sense of how Gnosticism may be relevant today for you.
"Gnostic Philosophy" may inform and entertain, but, due to the deep care and warmth with which Churton has written it, it may also call to you. This book is a brilliant presentation of why Gnosticism matters.