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

Histories of the Hidden God

Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions, 1st Edition

Edited by April D DeConick, Grant Adamson


368 pages

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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



About the Editors

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.

About the Series


Gnostica publishes the latest scholarship on esoteric movements, including the Gnostic, Hermetic, Manichaean, Theosophical and related traditions. Contributions also include critical editions of texts, historical case studies, critical analyses, cross-cultural comparisons and state-of-the-art surveys.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General