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The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today

April D. DeConick


Gnosticism is a countercultural spirituality that forever changed the practice of Christianity. Before it emerged in the second century, passage to the afterlife required obedience to God and king. Gnosticism proposed that human beings were manifestations of the divine, unsettling the hierarchical foundations of the ancient world. Subversive and revolutionary, Gnostics taught that prayer and mediation could bring human beings into an ecstatic spiritual union with a transcendent deity. This mystical strain affected not just Christianity but many other religions, and it characterizes our underst ... More

Keywords: Gnostic(ism), Gnostic, Counterculture, Spirituality, Early Christianity, New Age, Mysticism, Shamanism, Neurophysiology and Religion, Psychotherapy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780231170765
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231170765.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

April D. DeConick, author
Rice University