- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Thorsons (March 30, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1862047421
- ISBN-13: 978-1862047426
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,320,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rosslyn Paperback – March 30, 2000
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'In this book, Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins shed valuable light on the origins and development of the belief systems of our modern world...well worth reading.' -- Robert Lomas, co-author of The Hiram Key
About the Author
Tim Wallace-Murphy is the co-author of the best-selling The Mark of the Beast (with Trevor Ravenscroft) and has written two books published by Friends of Rosslyn: An Illustrated Guidebook to Rosslyn Chapel and The Templar Legacy.
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Readers are also led through the now-familar discussion of a gnostic tradition originating in Egypt and other early cultures that found its way into early Judaism. Then we are introduced in a vague way to the gnostic alternative to orthodox Chrisitanity: Jesus came as "revealer, not a redeemer"; the roles of James the brother of Jesus, John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene are amplified, those of Paul and Peter denegrated and often treated as the real heresies; gnostics were heroes that stood up to the growing dogmatism and corruption of the Church. While I have no sympathy for Inquisitors and witch-hunters, even the most open-minded reader might find the authors' dark view of Christian history a bit biased.
The story then continues along familiar conspiratorial paths. The gnostic tradition is kept alive by the Cathars and the Bogomils, inherited by the Knights Templar and from them by the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians. Beneath all of this is some version of the "Rex Deus" tradition, that claims that elements of European nobility are the decendents of high priests in Jerusalem, or perhaps Jesus himself (with Mary Magdalene). As other reviewers have noted, what doesn't appear here is the Holy Grail, either as an object or a literary tradition. Rather, the authors take the Grail as a metaphor for the secret tradition brought to Rosslyn chapel by the Knights Templar and the St. Clair family that owned it.
So, what is one to do with all this? It is a spiritual journey after all, and one cannot argue with spiritual issues. It is not, however, either history in the traditional sense or a work of scholarship. The book is peppered with footnotes, true, but the vast majority of them refer either to the authors' own works or other books with no more basis for their assertions. Piling whipped cream on older whipped cream does not give it more solidity. There are numerous errors that either indicate an embarrassing level of ignorance or bad editing. There is mistranscribed Latin (p. 143), a reference to a 'silicone-chip' (p. 194; I don't even want to think about this one), claiming that a quote from Gregory of Nyssa supports reincarnation instead of the developing concept of Purgatory, etc. Many statements are made with no support whatsoever, e.g. "Jesus was, of course, an initiate of the Nazorean sect of the Essenes" (p. 190); of course. Did the Druids learn from Egypt? Did the first Knights Templar dig under the Temple of Solomon and find treasures including the Ark of the Covenant? Will July 28, 2019 be a day of apocalyptic change? Who knows--and that's the difference between history and spiritual speculation. If this book helps you down the road, more power to you, but don't think the authors have told you anything about real events or traditions.
These problems aside, the book is interesting in regard to the Templars, and the claims made for Rosslyn are meaningful and open to verification. I also enjoyed the discussion of the cathedral sites that make up the Apocalyptic Configuration in Stone.