In the turbulent 4th Century, Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the faith of the Empire. The Secular Gospel of Sophia examines what was lost as a result. Sophia is an accidental traveller and keen observer on the road to Nicaea and of the creation of the Catholic Church. She becomes an unwilling symbol of Gnostic Christianity that the newly empowered Catholics are determined to destroy. Can she survive the zealous forces arrayed against her? Can she preserve the remnants of an endangered faith? Can she live a secular life amidst religious passions that are tearing the old world apart – and building a new one in its place? Daniel G. Helton’s first novel, took six years to research and write. Through a rich blend of important historical and realistic fictional characters, the book takes the reader through the last days of Gnostic Christianity, the formation of the Catholic Church under the influence of Roman Emperors, and the Christian assault on the Greco-Roman intellectual heritage.
The Rebirth of the feminine surrounds us in many forms -- from the worldwide movement for women's rights to the resurgence of interest in the feminine spirituality of the Goddess and the Divine Mother. What is the spiritual meaning of this rebirth? What is the feminine divine? Who is she? She has had many names in many cultures: Ishtar in Babylon, Inanna in Sumeria, Athena, Hera, Demeter, and Persephone in Greece, Isis in Egypt, Durga, Kali, and Lakshmi in India. She is the Shekinah of the Kabbalists and the Sophia, or Divine Wisdom of the gnostics. For Rudolf Steiner, she is Anthroposophia, the Divine Wisdom who descended from the spiritual world and passed through humanity to become now the goal and archetype of human wisdom in the cosmos. This book contains most of Rudolf Steiner's statements on Sophia. We see him, as it were, "midwifing" the birth of the Sophia, the new Isis, divine feminine wisdom, in human hearts on earth. Each chapter explores the mystery of the different relationships of Sophia: Sophia and Isis, Sophia and the Holy Spirit, Sophia and Mary, the mother of Jesus (and Mary Magdalene), Sophia and the Gnostic Achamod, and Sophia and the New Isis. Above all, in a remarkable way, Steiner makes clear the relationship of Christ and Sophia: Isis-Sophia, Divine Wisdom, slain by Lucifer, Carried off on wings of world-wide forces into cosmic space, The Christ-Will working in us Will wrest Her from Lucifer And on vessels of spiritual knowledge Call Isis-Sophia, Divine wisdom, to new life in human souls.
During Whitsun 1908, seven years after he had given the world the first intimation of the consequences of his turn-of-the-century Christ-experience in Christianity as Mystical Fact, Rudolf Steiner began his great task of renewing humanity's understanding of the true meaning of the Mystery of Golgotha. Accordingly, he turned to the deepest, most spiritual Gospel: that of the Initiate, St. John. In this lecture cycle, readers will find that the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Divine Word or Logos reveals the mission of the earth to be Love. We learn the secret of the raising of Lazarus, of the Seven Degrees of Initiation, of the I AM sayings. Listening to Rudolf Steiner, we come to understand that the Gospel of St. John is a continuing spiritual presence - to be recalled, meditated, and permeated with one's life. Doing so, we realize that our task - the task of human beings - is to become ourselves Virgin Sophias, receptive to the Holy Spirit. All of Steiner's work, as Marie Steiner writes in her introduction, was to "pave the way to Christ." Indeed, at the conclusion of these lectures Rudolf Steiner said: "It will come to be understood that Christianity is only beginning its influence, and will fulfill its real mission only when it is understood in its true, spiritual form." And he added: "The more these lectures are understood in this sense, the better they will be understood as they were intended."
While numerous studies have celebrated Thomas Merton's witness as an interfaith pioneer, poet, and peacemaker, there have been few systematic treatments of his Christology as such, and no sustained exploration to date of his relationship to the Russian Sophia" tradition. This book looks to Thomas Merton as a "classic" theologian of the Christian tradition from East to West, and offers an interpretation of his mature Christology, with special attention to his remarkable prose poem of 1962, Hagia Sophia. Bringing Merton's mystical-prophetic Vision fully into dialogue with contemporary Christology, Russian sophiology, and Zen, as well as figures such as John Henry Newman and Abraham Joshua Heschel, the author carefully but boldly builds the case that Sophia, the same theological eros that animated Merton's religious imagination in a period of tremendous fragmentation and violence, might infuse new vitality into our own. A study of uncommon depth and scope, inspired throughout by Merton's extraordinary catholicity. Christopher Pramuk, PhD, is assistant professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of two books and numerous essays, and the recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America's 2009 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award. "
Central to the ecological feminist approach, is the notion of the material given developed in conversation with Gayatri Spivak's reading of the pregnant body as prepropriative, Jacques Derrida's reading of the gift and Jean Luc Marion's understanding of giveness. This use of postmodern discourse to inform an ecological feminist hermeneutics is an innovation in ecofeminist theology and biblical studies.
Jesus is crucified everyday in the United States. Christians, especially conservatives, show greater hostility toward their own faith and contribute far more to the nations secularization than often wrongly accused atheists, liberals, humanists, Democratic activists, or card carrying members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). America must examine what it means to be a country of faith. In doing so, citizens should ask how they come together as one nation under the same God where all are welcomed as part of the same national family. Part politics, theology, and constitutional analysis, the book offers a possible answer that speaks to the American soul.