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Esoteric Christianity (linked with the Hermetic Corpus since the Renaissance) is an ensemble of Christian theology which proposes that some spiritual doctrines of Christianity can only be understood by those who have undergone certain rites (such as baptism) within the religion. In mainstream Christianity, there is a similar idea that faith is the only means by which a true understanding of God can be gained.The term esoteric was coined in the 17th century and derives from the Greek ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos, "inner").
These spiritual currents share some common denominators, such as heterodox or heretical Christian theology; the canonical gospels, various apocalyptic literature, and some New Testament apocrypha as sacred texts;[ citation needed ] and disciplina arcani , a supposed oral tradition from the Twelve Apostles containing esoteric teachings of Jesus the Christ.
The word "mysticism" is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning "to conceal", μυστικός, mystikos, meaning 'an initiate'. In the Hellenistic world, 'mystical' referred to "secret" religious rituals. The use of the word lacked any direct references to the transcendental. A "mystikos" was an initiate of a mystery religion.and its derivative
Theologians give the name mystery to revealed truths that surpass the powers of natural reason,so, in a narrow sense, the Mystery is a truth that transcends the created intellect.
Some modern scholars believe that in the early stages of non-Gnostic Christianity, a nucleus of oral teachings were inherited from Palestinian and Hellenistic Judaism. In the 4th century, it was believed to form the basis of a secret oral tradition which came to be called disciplina arcani. The mainstream theologians, however, believe that it contained only liturgical details and certain other traditions which remain a part of some branches of mainstream Christianity. [ need quotation to verify ]Important influences on Esoteric Christianity are the Christian theologians Clement of Alexandria and Origen, the leading figures of the Catechetical School of Alexandria.
Reincarnation was accepted by most of Gnostic Christian sects such as Valentinianism and Basilidians, but denied by the proto-orthodox one. While hypothetically considering a complex multiple-world transmigration scheme in De Principiis, Origen denies reincarnation in unmistakable terms in his work Against Celsus and elsewhere.
Despite this apparent contradiction, most modern Esoteric Christian movements refer to Origen's writings (along with other Church Fathers and biblical passages) to validate these ideas as part of the Esoteric Christian tradition outside of the Gnostic schools, who were later considered heretical in the 3rd century.
Scholar Jan Shipps describes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as having esoteric elements.
Gnosticism is a collection of ancient religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. These various groups, labeled "Gnostics" by their opponents, emphasised personal spiritual knowledge (gnosis) over orthodox teachings, traditions, and ecclesiastical authority. They considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity, experienced as intuitive or esoteric insight. Generally, Gnostic cosmogony presents a distinction between a supreme, transcendent God and a blind, evil demiurge responsible for creating the material universe, thereby trapping the divine spark within matter. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment.
A magical organization or magical order is an organization created for the practice of magic or to further the knowledge of magic among its members. "Magic" in this case refers to occult, metaphysical and paranormal activities, not to the performance of stage magic. Magical organizations can include hermetic orders, Wiccan covens or Wiccan circles, esoteric societies, arcane colleges, witches' covens, and other groups which may use different terminology and similar though diverse practices.
Christian theosophy, also known as Boehmian theosophy and theosophy, refers to a range of positions within Christianity which focus on the attainment of direct, unmediated knowledge of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe. They have been characterized as mystical philosophies. Theosophy is considered part of Western esotericism, which believes that hidden knowledge or wisdom from the ancient past offers a path to enlightenment and salvation.
Theurgy describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action or evoking the presence of one or more deities, especially with the goal of achieving henosis and perfecting oneself.
Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition traces its origin to a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity.
Emanationism is an idea in the cosmology or cosmogony of certain religious or philosophical systems. Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning "to flow from" or "to pour forth or out of", is the mode by which all things are derived from the first reality, or principle. All things are derived from the first reality or perfect God by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first reality or God, and at every step the emanating beings are less pure, less perfect, less divine. Emanationism is a transcendent principle from which everything is derived, and is opposed to both creationism and materialism.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to spirituality:
The Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.) is a school of the Western mystery tradition based in Los Angeles which is registered as a non-profit tax-exempt religious organization. It was founded by Paul Foster Case and has its roots in both the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Masonic blue lodge system. It was later extended by Ann Davies.
Western esotericism, also known as esotericism, esoterism, and sometimes the Western mystery tradition, is a term under which scholars have categorised a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society.
Christian mysticism refers to mystical practices and theory within Christianity. Mysticism is not so much a doctrine as a method of thought. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.
Academic study of Jewish mysticism, especially since Gershom Scholem's Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941), distinguishes between different forms of mysticism across different eras of Jewish history. Of these, Kabbalah, which emerged in 12th-century Europe, is the most well known, but not the only typologic form, or the earliest to emerge. Among previous forms were Merkabah mysticism, and Ashkenazi Hasidim around the time of Kabbalistic emergence.
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, published in 1877, is a book of esoteric philosophy and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's first major work and a key text in her Theosophical movement.
Sacred mysteries are the areas of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology. Sacred mysteries may be either:
George Robert Stow Mead ) was an English historian, writer, editor, translator, and an influential member of the Theosophical Society, as well as the founder of the Quest Society. His scholarly works dealt mainly with the Hermetic and Gnostic religions of Late Antiquity, and were exhaustive for the time period.
Cabala may refer to one of several systems of mysticism:
Hermetic Qabalah is a Western esoteric tradition involving mysticism and the occult. It is the underlying philosophy and framework for magical societies such as the Golden Dawn, Thelemic orders, mystical-religious societies such as the Builders of the Adytum and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, and is a precursor to the Neopagan, Wiccan and New Age movements. The Hermetic Qabalah is the basis for Qliphothic Qabala as studied by left hand path orders, such as the Typhonian Order.
Disciplina arcani is the custom that prevailed in the 4th and 5th centuries of Early Christianity, whereby knowledge of the more intimate doctrines of the Christian religion was carefully kept from non-Christians and even from those who were undergoing instruction in the faith so that they may progressively learn the teachings of the faith and not fall to heresy due to simplistic misunderstandings.
April D. DeConick is the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She came to Rice University as a full professor in 2006, after receiving tenure at Illinois Wesleyan University in 2004. DeConick is the author of several books in the field of Early Christian Studies and is best known for her work on the Gospel of Thomas and ancient Gnosticism.
Christianity and Theosophy, for more than a hundred years, have had a "complex and sometimes troubled" relationship. The Christian faith was always the native religion of the great majority of Western Theosophists, but many came to Theosophy through a process of examination or even opposition to Christianity. According to professor Robert S. Ellwood, "the whole matter has been a divisive issue within Theosophy."
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