Is There a Gnostic Catholic Theology? Some Notes on Cyril O’Regan and Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange

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.

New Book: The Inner Church is the Hope of the World

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 …

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Acephale Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille and the Black Brotherhood—Crowley’s “Scientific Illuminism” vs. Bataille’s “Science of Filth”

The radical French philosopher Georges Bataille and the English magus Aleister Crowley at first seem to have much in common—both explored the darker sides of eroticism and their links to spiritual experience, both were evocative writers expressing philosophical standpoints considered beyond the pale of polite early twentieth-century society, and both sought a rapturous mystical dissolution of the ego-bound self, a union with what traditional mystics would call the One or the All. But their understandings of the end of the mystic’s quest differ greatly—even to the point that, according to orthodox Thelema’s conception of the magician’s supreme goal of “crossing the Abyss,” Bataille could be labeled a member of the vilified Black Brotherhood, that society of Dark Adepts who ultimately fail in their spiritual task.

Gustave Doré's illustration of the Rosa Celeste for Dante's Paradiso.

The Light Invisible – Towards a Manifesto of the Church Magical

The Light Invisible is a blog that will touch on diverse traditions of Christian Esotericism — traditional Rosicrucianism, Christian mysticism, Christian Hermeticism and Cabala, European alchemy, Renaissance magic, the Golden Dawn tradition, the legends of the Holy Grail, and folk magical traditions. The lens through which I will reflect on these esoteric traditions is primarily …

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