Recently I have been deeply influenced by Cyril O’Regan’s work on what he labels a “Gnostic return” in a certain line of modern Protestant theology. However, I think there is also a major line of Gnostic return in the Catholic context, namely in the French occult revival. At least one theologian, the Neo-Thomist Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, saw similarities between these occult ideas and the Catholic “new theology” of the mid-twentieth century.
“Berashith” is a foundational essay of Aleister Crowley’s, and often taken to present an ontology that is consistent throughout Crowley’s life. In fact, this early essay has a number of limitations compared to the Book of the Law and to some of Crowley’s later writings, and is ultimately a reductionistic view of the relationship between nothingness and manifestation.
Last month I went on Talk Gnosis’ podcast to give a brief introduction to Charles Stansfeld Jones aka Frater Achad, including his history as Crowley’s “magical son,” his involvement with the Universal Brotherhood, his conversion to Roman Catholicism, and his declaration of the Aeon of Maat — among other things! Watch or listen here.
Some readers of The Light Invisible know that I’ve been working on a book project — I’m happy to report that The Inner Church is the Hope of the World: Western Esotericism as a Theology of Liberation has now been released! The book has encompassed most of my thinking about esotericism and theology since I graduated from Union Theological Seminary …