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Living Gnosticism: An Ancient Way of Knowing Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1933993539 ISBN-10: 1933993537

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Living Gnosticism: An Ancient Way of Knowing + Sanctuary of the Sacred Flame: A Guide to Johannite Spiritual Practice + The Levitikon
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Apocryphile Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933993537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933993539
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jordan Stratford has been pronounced clinically dead, and was briefly mistakenly wanted by INTERPOL for international industrial espionage. He is an ordained priest, has won numerous sword fights, jaywalked across the streets of Paris, San Franciso, and Sao Paolo, and was once shot by a stray rubber bullet in a London riot. He lives on a tiny windswept Pacific island populated predominantly by realtors and carnivorous gulls.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chas S. Clifton on February 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Gnosticism, says Canadian Gnostic priest Jordan Statford (and blogger), is not a Jewish or Christian heresy, but stands alone, "too heretical for other faiths. . . . the Secret Church of the Holy Grail."

His new book, Living Gnosticism: An Ancient Way of Knowing, defines it as "a pre-Christian religious tradition that fuse Judaism, Greek philosophy, and the Mystery Schools of the ancient world.

"Originating in the intellectual 'café societies' of Alexandria around 200 BCE, the original Gnostics were Greek-educated Jews, living in Egypt, on the doorstep of the Roman Empire. Theirs was the realm of diverse and interplaying cultures, of ideas and imagination. Gnostics unflinchingly explored the borders of myth and archetype, of metaphors and dreams, of creativity and poetic expression."

(Sometimes he makes them sound like beatniks of the ancient Mediterraean.)

Also included are

* A dictionary of Gnostic terms such as archon and demiurge.

* A ritual calendar that starts with Candlemas, equating Bridget with Sophia, both as "goddesses" of wisdom and creativity, and runs through the feast of the apostle John, December 27. (Not real goddesses but "symbol[s] for an aspect of something greater.")

* A question-and-answer section, viz., "Do Gnostics deny the historical Jesus?"

Answer: He is an archetype; "these stories don't need to be historically true to be valuable."

* An introduction to the various Gnostic churches of North America: the Apostolic Johannite Church, the Ecclesia Gnostica, the Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum, the Gnostic Church of Mary Magdalene, the Order of St. Esclarmonde (a Cathar mystic executed by the Inquisition).

It's an excellent introduction to the topic.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John P. Plummer VINE VOICE on January 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those who follow Jordan Stratford's writing will not be surprised by the poetic sensibilities and thoughtful reflection which run through this small and beautifully designed volume.

Readers may differ from Stratford in their evaluations of some historical and theological matters, but this is not a book intended as a contribution to academic debate. Rather, we are presented with contemporary gnosticism (and its heritage) as seen through the eyes of one of its most articulate practitioners.

This book will be of considerable interest to the gnostic community, to spiritual seekers intrigued by gnosticism, as well as to those who study new religious movements and independent sacramental churches.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Miller on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand Gnosticism as a contemporary faith, then this is the place to start.

Not a heavy read, but certainly not a "Gnosticism for Dummies" either, this book gives one a great insight in only a few pages. Get this along with Stephan Hoeller's Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing first, then follow it with Kurt Rudolph's Gnosis: The Nature And History of Gnosticism, all the books by Elaine Pagels, and the Gnostic Bible and/or the Nag Hammadi Library, and you will be well-versed in Gnostic thought.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo V. Lane on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good 101 book. If you're looking for an introduction to contemporary Gnosticism, this is your book. The only drawback is that it is a bit too brief. Perfect for the casual seeker and a good starting point for anyone looking down this path.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen F on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
While there are quite a few books out there on Gnosticism, there are not many that actually help one practice the Gnostic path. If you're looking for such a book, look no further. Msgr. Stratford has put together a fine book covering many of the basics of Gnosticism. There is just enough theory so that you can orient yourself, a very interesting question & answer chapter, mention of several Gnostic churches, &, of course, ways to start on the path. I wish that I had found this book when it first came out, as I have read several books on the theory of Gnosticism, but it was quite difficult to put some kind of practice together. This book would have made it so much easier.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Hoddinott on February 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
A must read for anyone interested in Gnosticism. Unlike so many other books I have read on the subject the author discusses his concepts in language anyone can understand.

Well worth the read!
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