Reclaiming the Mystery in Christian Tradition:

Basic Concepts and Practices for Entering the Hidden Streams of Wisdom

Online

(Oct. 17 - 18, 2020)

Cost: $99

This is a live online weekend workshop, held on Zoom. It will run for approximately four hours on Saturday, and four hours on Sunday. (Specific start and end times, and video links for both days, will be given to all who register.) The format of this workshop will be a mixture of teaching/presentation, group discussion, experiential work, and question-and-answer. Some deep and often unexamined history will be presented to make clear the ancient precedent for reclaiming Christianity as a Mystery Religion, but we will also focus a good deal on practical application. Below is a general outline of the broad topics we'll be covering. Spiritual practices and space for reflection will be interspersed throughout.

1. Christianity as Mystery Tradition

    a. Christianity in Dialogue with Isiacism, Mithraism, Hermetism, and Dionysianism

    b. St. Paul the Roman, St. Paul the Initiate

    c. Neoplatonism, Iamblichus and the Art of Theurgy

    d. Hermeticism, Alchemy, and the ‘Golden Thread’

    e. Secrecy from the Start ('That Hearing they May Not Understand')

    f. The Buried Blessing: Embracing Not Fearing the True Origins of Christianity

2. Myth and Mythic Imagery in the Work of Transformation

    a. The ‘Interior Castle’ of Imagination in the Process of Spiritual Formation

    b. The Alexandrian (Origenian) Approach to Scripture

    c. Mythic Motifs in Discursive Meditation

    d. Sacred Images from the Gospel of Thomas

3. Theosis Revisited

    a. What Does ‘Deification’ or ‘Divinization’ Really Mean?

    b. A Gradual Dimming: St. Gregory Palamas and the Defense of the Luminous

    c. Theurgy and Ritual Evocation on the Path to Perfection

    d. Moral Purification in Hermetism and in Early Christian Monasticism

    e. The Resurrection Body, or, ‘The Body of Light’

4. Initiation: What is it, and Why is it Significant?

    a. Initiatory Rites and their Functions: A Perennial Wisdom

    b. Initiation in the Early Church

    c. The Abandonment of Real Initiation through the Politicizing of the Church

    d. ‘Flee, Be Silent, Pray without Ceasing’: A Rebel Response

    e. Our Profound Lack and Need of Initiatory Models

5. Wisdom Christology: A New and Ancient Understanding of Atonement

    a. The Alexandrian School of Theology

    b. Sophia in Egyptian Gnosticism and Pre-Christian Hellenistic Thought

    c. Wisdom and Source-Mother: Christ and the Feminine Divine

6. Tools for the Process of Reclamation

    a. The Rule of Life: Commitment and Balance

    b. Basic Contemplative Practice: Clearing the Mind and Heart

    c. Building a Home Shrine and Curating Images that Enliven

    d. Saints and Ancestors: Our Partners in Reclamation

    e. ‘Knock Loudly Upon the Door’: Prioritization and the Critical Need for Self-Mastery

    f. Finding Our Way in the Dark: The Mystical Path and Church Institutions

7. The Communion of the Mystic Rose: A New and Ancient Expression

8. Question-and-Answer Session

9. Further Resources for Exploration and Study

+ REGISTER HERE +

BRENDAN

ELLIS

WILLIAMS

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