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The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 15 Dec 2006
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field.” With those words in Genesis, God condemns the serpent for tempting Adam and Eve, and the serpent has shouldered the blame ever since. But how would the study of religion change if we looked at the Fall from the snake’s point of view? Would he appear as a bringer of wisdom, more generous than the God who wishes to keep his creation ignorant? 

Inspired by the early Gnostics who took that startling view, Jeffrey J. Kripal uses the serpent as a starting point for a groundbreaking reconsideration of religious studies and its methods. In a series of related essays, he moves beyond both rational and faith-based approaches to religion, exploring the erotics of the gospels and the sexualities of Jesus, John, and Mary Magdalene. He considers Feuerbach’s Gnosticism, the untapped mystical potential of comparative religion, and even the modern mythology of the X-Men. 

Ultimately, The Serpent’s Gift is a provocative call for a complete reorientation of religious studies, aimed at a larger understanding of the world, the self, and the divine.


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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9780226453811
ISBN-10: 0226453812
Pagini: 232
Dimensiuni: 152 x 229 x 18 mm
Greutate: 0.33 kg
Ediția: New.
Editura: University of Chicago Press
Colecția University of Chicago Press

Cuprins

Preface: Digging Up My Library

Acknowledgments


Introduction: The Serpent’s Gift

Faith, Reason, and Gnosis

The Premodern, the Modern, and the Postmodern

Toward a Gnostic (Post)Modernity

Medi(t)ations

Writing as Hissing

Autobiographical and Pedagogical Contexts

The Essays

1 The Apocryphon of the Beloved
Invocation
The Quest for the Heretical Jesus
“One Will Know Them by Their Roots”
From the Womb . . .
Sexual Healings: Dispelling the Demons of Abuse
Sexual Teachings
The Man Jesus Loved
The Woman Jesus Loved
The Secret
2 Restoring the Adam of Light
The Adam of Light Awakened by Her
The Fiery Brook
The Sacrilegious Secret of Christian Theology
Implications of the Method
The Historical and Intellectual Contexts
“Man Is God to Man”: The Virtues of Pluralism and Polytheism
Completing the Incarnation of Love (and Sex): Embodiment in Feedback’s Thought
The Sexuality of Numbers
The Cancer and the Cure
Toward a Mystical Humanism: A Gnostic Rereading
3 Comparative Mystics
The Rebuke of the Gnostic and the Oriental Renaissance
Comparative Mystics
Ramakrishna: Colonialism, Universalism, Mysticism
Doctrinal and Historical-Critical Analysis
Ramakrishna and the Comparativist
The Critical Study of Religion as a Modern Mystical Tradition
The Scandal of Comparison
Professional Heresy: The Gnostic Study of Religion
Interlude: Logoi Mystikoi; or, How to Think like a Gnostic
4 Mutant Marvels
Educational and Sexual Allegory
On Puberty and Powers
Denying the Demiurge
Toward a More Radical Empiricism
Dissociation and the Release of Nonordinary Energies
On Death as Dissociation
Real X-Men
On X-clusions and X-ceptions
Political Allegory; or, How (Not) to Be an X-Man
Conclusion: Return to the Garden
The Other Tree
The Forbidden Fruit
“When He Becomes Troubled, He Will Be Astonished”
The Flaming Sword and the Bridal Chamber
Notes
The Fruit of the Tree; or, My Gnostic Library before I Have to Bury It (Again)
Index