[read online] Wisdom's Children: A Christian Esoteric Tradition (SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions)Author Arthur Versluis – Biorganicenergy.co

Versluis is a must read, for anyone looking into the Western Esoteric Tradition. This book gives a great overview of the movement of christian mysticism which was essentially founded by Jacob Boehme The only complaint that I have with it is that it does not have a section on Louis Claude de Saint Martin. Christian mysticism is generally associated with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, but professor Arthur Versluis here casts needed light on the obscure Anglo Germanic theosophical mysticism deriving from Jacob Boehme.Writing in a style that is scholarly yet accessible, Versluis follows the influence of Boehme down through disciples such as Johann Gichtel, John Pordage, and Jane Leade, figures who remain little known even in esoteric circles.The theosophy of Boehme and his followers differs markedly from the later theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society, a syncretistic theosophy which owes much to Buddhism and Hinduism By contrast, the Christian theosophy of Boehme is thoroughly Christian and Christ centered, deriving from his personal mystical visions rather than from readings in Eastern religion.A main emphasis of Boehme and his followers is that religion be experiential rather than simply an intellectual acceptance of dogma or an assent to verbal expressions of faith Boehme often described verbal religion as Babel, signifying that it lacked the truly transformative quality of real religion.Christian theosophy typically invokes the idea of sophia, seen as a feminine personification of divine wisdom Although present in the Old testament Song of Songs, and occasionally referenced elsewhere in both the Old and New Testaments, sophia wisdom largely went underground in the Christian tradition, and is often associated with heretical groups such as the various gnostic sects of the first Christian centuries.Indeed, Versluis takes up the question of whether there is a link between the Boehmian tradition and the earlier gnostics, and his conclusion is generally in the negative First of all, there is no evidence of a direct line of transmission between the two traditions secondly, the theosophers eschewed the elaborate mythical constructs of the earlier gnostics, relying instead on their own direct visionary experiences.Versluis has tapped into a mystical thread in Christianity which bears further study, and I recommend his Theosophia as another laudable effort to elaborate the sophian tradition in Christianity not merely as a historical curiosity, but as a living tradition that might have something to teach Christians to this day. Wisdom s Children is a landmark work in the history of Christian esotericism Thought mainly to be the domain of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestant mysticism has been marginalized for too long Arthur Versluis takes us back 300 years and shows us that beneath its stern veneer, there has been, and still is, a vital current of the imagination and mystical understanding in and around mainstream Protestantism Jane Leade, Johann Gichtel, Boehme, Freher, are all brought to life The chapters on German theosophy, folk magic, and qabala in colonial Pennsylvania alone are worth the cover price Highly recommended. The First Book In English To Provide An In Depth Introduction To The Christian Theosophic Tradition That Began With Jacob Bohme, Wisdom S Children Brings Us Into A Startling New World Of Experiential Spirituality That Is In Fact The Christian Equivalent Of Sufism And Kabbalism With Biographic Introductions To Major Theosophers And Detailed Discussions Of Theosophic Authors Such As John Pordage, Jane Leade, Dionysius Freher, And Johann Gichtel As Well As A Survey Of Their Major Theosophic Cosmological And Metaphysical Teachings This Book Is An Indispensable Guide To The Hidden History Of Protestantism And Its Ramifications Today Wisdom S Children Fills A Major Gap In The History Of Religion It Sympathetically Introduces Information And Thought About A Highly Important And Much Neglected Strand Of Modern Western Spiritual Philosophy Jacob Needleman, San Francisco State UniversityWith Chapters Discussing Theosophy In Relation To Gnosticism, Magic, Astrology, Alchemy, And Other Western Esoteric Traditions, Wisdom S Children Is Situated Solidly In Its Historical Context Using Primary Works From The Tradition Itself The Book Also Provides Unexpected Insights Into How This Modern Gnostic Tradition Speaks To Us Today, And Suggests How This Tradition Could Spark A New Renaissance To Link Spirituality, The Arts, And The Sciences In A New And Encompassing Vision