The Inner Church is the Hope of the World:
Western Esotericism as a Theology of Liberation
by Nicholas Laccetti
(Resource Publications, 2018)
Some readers of The Light Invisible know that I’ve been working on a book project — I’m happy to report that it’s now been released! The book has encompassed most of my thinking about esotericism and theology since I graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 2015, and I managed to keep working on it even while the Poor People’s Campaign took up most of my time (and that made its mark on the book, too). Some sections of the introduction, the final chapter, and the conclusion will be familiar to you if you have read this blog before — the book builds on ideas that I’ve been working on through blogging and other writing over the past few years. Most of it, however, is new material. You can purchase the book from Amazon here, or directly from the publisher here. If you’ve been interested in my writing and blogging before, or just want to support my work, consider buying a copy. More info below!
Throughout history, Western esoteric movements have provided meaning and power for what the Rosicrucians of the early modern period called the quest for “Universal Reformation” — the utopian restructuring of religion, science, the arts, and human society. Yet Western esotericism has been roundly ignored as a source of reflection in mainstream Christian theology, including the radical theologies of liberation that might otherwise see in esotericism a kindred spirit to their commitment to radical social change.
In The Inner Church is the Hope of the World, guided by his work in contemporary movements for social change, Nicholas Laccetti puts Western esotericism in dialogue with liberation theology, treating esotericism as a legitimate source of spiritual and theological insight. If, as Gustavo Gutiérrez writes, “God is revealed in history,” then we will also encounter God within the particular history of human religious expression that is Western esotericism. And from these theological reflections, the Inner Church of the esotericists, occultists, and mystics is revealed to be the true ekklesia of all who have conformed themselves to God’s vision of freedom and liberation, and who struggle to enact that vision in human society. The Inner Church is truly the hope of the world.
Endorsements & Reviews
“A brilliant, deep, engaging, and unique work. Laccetti reconciles seemingly disparate spiritual forms, teasing out the same transformative grace behind them. Spanning millennia, inner and outer worlds, politics and mysticism, this book furthers the work of transformative love which is its study. ‘The Inner Church’ is the next step for both today’s politics and spirituality.”
—Peregrin Wildoak, author of By Names and Images: Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life