Histories of the Hidden God : Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions book cover
1st Edition

Histories of the Hidden God
Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions

ISBN 9781138664302
Published January 20, 2016 by Routledge
368 Pages

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Book Description

In Western religious traditions, God is conventionally conceived as a humanlike creator, lawgiver, and king, a being both accessible and actively present in history. Yet there is a concurrent and strong tradition of a God who actively hides. The two traditions have led to a tension between a God who is simultaneously accessible to humanity and yet inaccessible, a God who is both immanent and transcendent, present and absent. Western Gnostic, esoteric, and mystical thinking capitalizes on the hidden and hiding God. He becomes the hallmark of the mystics, Gnostics, sages, and artists who attempt to make accessible to humans the God who is secreted away. 'Histories of the Hidden God' explores this tradition from antiquity to today. The essays focus on three essential themes: the concealment of the hidden God; the human quest for the hidden God, and revelations of the hidden God.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In search of the hidden God: By April D. DeConick
Part I - Concealment of the Hidden God
1 - Who is hiding in the Gospel of John? Reconceptualizing Johannine theology and the roots of Gnosticism
2 - Adoil outside the cosmos: God before and after Creation in the Enochic tradition
3 - The old gods of Egypt in lost Hermetica and early Sethianism
4 - Hidden God and hidden self: The emergence of apophatic anthropology in Christian mysticism
5 - God's occulted body: On the hiddenness of Christ in Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus
Part II - The Human Quest for the Hidden God
6 - Obscured by the scriptures, revealed by the prophets: God in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies
7 - How hidden was God? Revelation and pedagogy in ancient and medieval Hermetic writings
8 - From hidden to revealed in Sethian revelation, ritual, and protology
9 - Shamanism and the hidden history of modern Kabbalah
10 - Dreaming of paradise: Seeing the hidden God in Islam
Part III - Revelations of the Hidden God
11 - Revealing and concealing God in ancient synagogue art
12 - The invisible Christian God in Christian art
13 - On the Mothman, God, and other monsters: The demonology of John A. Keel
14 - Hidden away: Esotericism and Gnosticism in Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam
15 - Conscious concealment: The repression and expression of African American Spiritualists
16 - Occulture in the academy? The case of Joseph P. Farrell
Afterword: Mysticism, Gnosticism, and esotericism as entangled discourses

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April D. DeConick is Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University, Houston, Texas.

Grant Adamson is Ph.D. candidate, Rice University.