Faith and Gnosis

Issue 1906

15 June 2019

When I discussed gnosis many years ago,[1] I expressed my doubts about the value of two prevailing opinions on this topic. Catholics who lament the imperfect reception of Vatican II or its rejection in some areas of the Church interpret current anti-gnostic positions as the screen behind which fundamentalist critics of the Council hide their resistance. Meanwhile, agnostics believe that those positions express awareness of the failure of those Catholics who see the Church’s teaching rejected in the public arena, and for this reason have invented the specter of gnosis. Both are dangerous opinions on cultural and theological levels. I want to stress the dangers that the revival of gnosis poses to the faith.

A reality: the awakening of gnosis

“That we are seeing today a ‘revival of gnosis’ seems a well-established fact, since there are too many voices that seem to attest the presence of this revenant. In fact, it has been seen, pale and disoriented, lurking around rarefied literary circles, evoked as a guardian spirit by all those poets and novelists, romantic and otherwise, who are afflicted by an existential spleen and are ready to escape, at least through their writings, from the steel cage that our world has become. What can we say of those who claim to have noticed it during fierce conversations with philosophers and scientists on the Gnostic nature of the modern Zeitgeist or of the latest scientific thought?”[2]

This article is reserved for paid subscribers. Please subscribe to continue reading this article
Subscribe