The Gnostic Tradition and Renaissance Occultism

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THE GNOSTIC TRADITION AND RENAISSANCE OCCULTISM

By Thomas Molnar

University5 Modern scholarship has found that the stereotyped image we used to have of the Renaissance was considerably falsified by the retrospective view that educated Westerners were until recently casting on the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. It has become clear, thanks to such scholars as Hans Baron, Frances Yates, Oscar Kristeller, Eugenio Garin, and others, that the Renaissance did not only revive the memory and the monuments of Greece and Rome, but it also rediscovered the pagan myths which used to shape the inner life of the Hellenistic and Roman citizens. “Pagan myth” is not to be equated with Oxford 2“mythology,” but with a plurality of currents of religious, spiritual, and esoteric inspiration whose origin goes back to prehistoric times and which took shape in Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, and Iran. This is not the place to explore their varied history and…

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