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Jacob Boehme: The Way to Christ (Classics of Western Spirituality) Paperback – January 1, 1977


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Product Details

  • Series: Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr; New edition edition (January 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809121026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809121021
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Greg on October 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I have tried to read Boehme, I am often quite perplexed. I am not really sure if he is a Gnostic visionary in the same sort of mold as William Blake (or perhaps Valentinus), if he is an alchemist or an astrologer like Paracelsus or Cornelius Agrippa, or a genuine Christian mystic.

Boehme is clearly a genius, and also a visionary of first rank. However his obscurity in terms of symbolism and expression, his disorganisation in argument and logic, and the sheer scope of his visions and their diversity make him very hard to follow.

I think it is best to see Boehme as a kind of theosophist. In this sense, his approach to the divine is deeply mythical and also involves a syncreticism of ideas taken from many areas. In this sense, Boehme is far more in my view a Gnostic or Gnostic Christian than a Christian mystic.

Gnosticism is very different from Christian mysticism, particularly in its extreme focus on inner visions of spiritual realities and its application of mythical categories to the entire realm of experience. While these elements exist in Christian mysticism, they are always downplayed or regulated by Christian tradition and certain rules and counsels for spiritual direction. As a reading of Boehme and other Gnostic scriptures would show, the problem with unfettered visions is that they soon become so obscure and involved in radical allegory and myth that they bear little or no resemblance to their original source. In this sense such a mysticism can never serve as a mysticism for an organised religion like Christianity, which requires some adherence to tradition and authority.

However as a Gnostic and creative visionary Boehme is certainly at his most brilliant.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jakob Boehme (Böhme; 1575-1624) was a German Lutheran mystic and theologian, whom Nicolas Berdyaev called "one of the greatest of Christian gnostics." The Preface to this 1978 book notes, "As his book indicates... Christian piety begins with repentance, that is, with self-understanding in which man comes to know the unfathomable self-seeking at the base of his being."

He wrote, "We have neither pen nor words to write or to tell what the sweet grace of God in Christ's humanity is, and what happens to those who are worthy to come to the marriage of the lamb, which we in our own way have experienced, and which we know, so that we have a true ground for our writings. We have shared this gladly with our brothers for the love of Christ." (Pg. 70)

He explains, "I do not say that man is not to study and learn in the natural arts. No, this is useful to him, but his own reason is not to be the beginning. Man is to... set The Spirit and will of God at the beginning of all his studies... The more reason sinks into absurd humility before God... (the more) it may see the great wonders of God." (Pg. 122) Later, he suggests that "The Father's love to Christ consists of willing, but true life consists of doing." (Pg. 157)

He argues that a Christian "has no sect... He has only a single knowledge and that is Christ in him. He seeks only one way, which is the desire always eagerly to act and live correctly." (Pg. 164) He asserts that "The whole Christian religion consists in this: [firstly] that we learn to know ourselves... secondly, where we were in unity when we were the children of God; thirdly, how we now are in disunity, in strife and antagonism; fourthly, where we are to go out of this fragile life." (Pg.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By peter on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bSo i bought this thinking it was a beginners book. i have read paulist press books before and liked them a lot . But this was no easy task. i have read excerpts and quotes by boehme but nothing total. so i went on amazon to find something
i was new to Jacob Boehme this seemed the cheapist book on him and the first that came up and somewhat popular as well . But be warned its not easy . Also i think its a late work by him .
Its good for what it is , but at the time i didnt get it at all . So i would suggest reading his early work first! Also i found this book a much better introduction being selections and commentary of his work Jacob Boehme (Western Esoteric Masters) and another book " the key to jacob boehme " The Key of Jacob Boehme (Studies in Historical Theology)
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