1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Order a good book in a different manner! March 29, 2009

A friend of mine has written a book and now introduces it in an unconventional manner: print-on-demand!

The book “The Wisdom Tradition” by John Noyce is an insight into philosophical and religious thought of the West from a bit different perspective –descriptions of Divine (or Eternal) Feminine that have been found in a wide range of written accounts including materials not traditionally regarded as ‘religious’, such as philosophy, literature, and those areas of study – alchemy, astrology, theosophy, and various magical traditions – known as Western Esotericism.

Here is the preview by the author:

Chapter 1: Sophia and feminine Wisdom
The first chapter presents an overview of feminine Wisdom from Proverbs in the eighth-century BCE through to Suso and his contemporaries in the 14/15th centuries CE, with particular emphasis on the divine manifestations as received in visions and dreams, and recorded in a variety of written forms. Throughout this period of time much of the surviving literature presents Divinity in masculine terms as an omnipotent God, able to assert His authority over nature. In the Wisdom tradition however, Wisdom is presented in feminine terms, working with nature. It can be argued therefore that the descriptions of feminine Wisdom encountered in this time period, and particularly in the medieval period, can be seen as providing alternative forms for the (safe) expression of the matriarchal view of the Divine inside the increasingly rigid and authoritarian patriarchy of the Christian Church.

 (painting the Mother of the World by Nicolai Rerich 1874-1947)

Chapter 2: From Boehme to Goethe: visions of Sophia in early modern Europe
This chapter is a survey of Sophianic theosophism from its beginnings in the writings of Jakob Boehme in the early seventeenth century. Included here are the English mystics, John Pordage and Jane Lead, the German theosophists, Johann Georg Gichtel and Gottfried Arnold, and their influence on the German Romantic writers, Novalis, Holderlin and Goethe at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Chapter 3: Sophia and the Russian mystical tradition
Awareness of Wisdom (Sophia) is not unique to the Western tradition. Relatively little attention has been given to the origins of the Russian understanding of Sophia. In this chapter I propose that there were in fact two sources: namely the understanding of Sophia as divine Wisdom in Byzantium, and the later introduction to Russia of the Boehmian theosophical understanding of Sophia. I then present and discuss the visions of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) whose understanding of Sophia was so influential on later writers including those in the Symbolist movement. The chapter concludes with an examination of Soloviev’s influence on contemporary and later writers in the Orthodox tradition.

Chapter 4: Prophetic visions of the Divine Feminine in 19th/20th century Europe
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, writings about the Divine Feminine began to develop a vision of social transformation through the impending arrival of the Divine Feminine in human form. Included here are the English visionaries William Blake and Goodwyn Barmby, the writers Hans Christian Andersen and Nathaniel Hawthorne, the English and French spiritualists/theosophists, Lady Caithness, Anna Kingsford, Jules Doinel and Leonce Fabre Des Essarts. The second part of the chapter examines the theories of the forthcoming third age of the Divine Feminine, some of which were inspired, directly or indirectly, by the writings of the twelfth-century Christian monk, Joachim of Fiore, and found across nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe in a diverse range of writings, including those of the Russian exiles, Zinaida Gippius and Dmitrii Merezhkovskii, and the later Russian dissident Daniil Andreev.

That is surely a great read, enriching and refreshing…

You can order the book for printing here.



3 Responses to “Order a good book in a different manner!”

  1. That’s very interesting, Axinia! Since the West is the place where society began to treat women as the equals of men, one would expect that there would be traditions where the divine is expressed in feminine forms. Sadly, it seems that the influence and power of the Catholic Church destroyed it all. Shamefully, the Catholic Church, like almost all organised religions, simply refuses to reform itself when it comes to gender issues, despite the fact that its influence has been marginalised and people are no longer attracted to it (in the West) because it still hangs on to its mediæval views regarding issues like feminity.

    Elsewhere in the world, the status of women is pathetic because of the backward and primitive social ideas regarding women. Unlike the West, these places have not broken free of the shackles of the regressive, mediæval organised religions. So until these backward religions reform themselves (something that is highly unlikely, almost impossible) or such societies break free of the shackles of their organised religions(which is again highly unlikely), these backward societies will continue to treat women as dirt 😡 A simple way of identifying a society still stuck in the mediæval ages is to look for women trying to defend and preserve their own inferior status with regard to men in society. I see no hope at all for such societies 😐

  2. axinia Says:

    thank you Raj, a very mature comment.

  3. Donald John Says:

    In Jacob Boehme and Johann Georg Gichtel et al (and in Blake’s myth), Eve (woman) facilitates the fall of androgynous Adam from spiritual to material, from imagination to reason, etc., which is a bit more misogynous than the very Catholic Dante’s Beatrice.

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