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Gnosticism Countercultures conference
03-26-2015, 08:51 PM
Post: #1
Gnosticism Countercultures conference
If any of you are following the Gnosticism Countercultures conference at Rice Univ. I'll re-post Miguel Conner's notes here (via Roger Voss)

There is a conference going on now in Houston titled Gnostic Countercultures; by way of Miguel Conner, here is the gist of April DeConick's presentation (she is a scholar at Rice University):


April ends (a session with multiple presenters) with the warning not to forget about the idea of ecstasy in Gnosis. It feels good and it goes beyond the body!

Can’t wait for her book on New Age and Gnosticism!


April is now comparing ancient Gnosticism to today’s New Age movement: syncretism, psychological, rising in times of turmoil, fluid, and counter cultural. April is obviously drawing the genesis of the New Age movement with the 60’s, and not Oprah and Deepak.

The Gnostic texts speak directly to the reader, and thus have no need of church or teacher.

After orthodoxy won, Gnostic awakenings occurred with:

The Hermetic texts in the Renaissance
The 19th century Pistis Sophia and Bruce Codex with the occult movement
Today with the Nag Hammadi and Gospel of Judas

Now April is addressing the idea of Gnosticism being a questionable term. Gnosticism is a dirty word, she says, and it’s bad for religious study. The Gnostics are being deconstructed by academia to the point they are being erased better than orthodoxy.

But the Sethians, Manichaeans, Mandaeans, and others were indeed in the days of early Christianity, or before.

Orthodoxy calls the Gnostics heretics, while academia calls the Gnostics heretical scholarship.

Gnosticism should be it’s own unique form of spirituality, beginning in the first century.

Four characteristics of Gnosticism:

*) Direct experience with God
*) This experience is carefully crafted with ritual and philosophy
*) All humans have a divine spark that is part of the Unknown God
*) This knowledge must be kept secret from orthodoxy because of the subversive message, and the Gnostic message must draw from all religions and myths

The Gnostics were new and fresh, not the same religiosity that saw man as under the gods in eternal submission. Man is here to vanquish the gods of this world.

Gnosticism didn’t emerge out of political revolt or desire it. It spoke to the fallen man bullied by temple and government, offering a journey beyond all systems of the cosmos.

April posits that disenfranchised Jews and Greeks went to Egyptian temples and were initiated into ancient mysteries. They saw visions and saw the god above god.

Thus, an attractive counter culture movement arose, drawing from all religions but rejecting all religions.


April is again on the podium, this time to give here presentation.

The question she asks is this: Why were the Gnostic texts forbidden?

Her answer: they promoted a new type of spirituality that confounded all ancient religions. It was dangerous. Mass religion was drug for the masses. The Gnostics offered divinity on earth and responsibility. The old gods had to go. The Alien God has to arrive.

A person can have direct experience with the divine.
03-28-2015, 09:31 AM
Post: #2
RE: Gnosticism Countercultures conference
05-16-2015, 01:40 AM
Post: #3
RE: Gnosticism Countercultures conference
Foxfire! So good to see you, and thank you for sharing that!


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