Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism by Richard Smoley

By Richard Smoley

The good fortune of books corresponding to Elaine Pagels's Gnostic Gospels and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code proves past a doubt that there's a large thirst at the present time for locating the hidden truths of Christianity – truths which may were misplaced or buried through institutional faith during the last millennia.

In Forbidden religion, Richard Smoley narrates a favored historical past of 1 such fact, the traditional esoteric faith of gnosticism, which flourished among the 1st and fourth centuries A.D., yet whose legacy continues to be even at the present time, having survived secretly in the course of the a long time.

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85. Madden’s work, more a satire than it is SF, was published in 1733. Madden was an Irish Anglican clergyman. 7 Thomas A. Hanzo, “The Past of Science Fiction,” in Bridges to Science Fiction (George E. , editors), Southern Illinois University Press 1980, p. 132. 8 Just to name one; Isaac Asimov’s beautiful 1958 short story “The Ugly Little Boy,” the tale of a young Neanderthal boy plucked out of his time by present-day time machine experimenters. After studying their subject for a lengthy time, they grow weary of him and decide to send him back to the remote past, where he has no chance for a normal life and to the virtually certain fate of a quick, brutal death.

It’s a bit like the story of the fellow who claims to have the very axe his grandfather used a hundred years ago: the handle has been replaced only three times and the blade only twice! An example of what I am getting at here can be found in the second volume of Isaac Asimov’s autobiography,19 in which he writes of an experience he had after writing his well-known Guide to the Bible. While on a visit with a friend to Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts, to view a collection of old Bibles, Asimov writes “At one point we were looking at a Jewish Bible published in Spain before the expulsion of the Jews.

This argument (a wrong-headed, indeed ludicrous one) has been specifically addressed by at least three scholars of both genres, two of them academics and the third a writer. The writer, Robert Silverberg (born 1935), wrote the following in an insightful (as well as often hilarious) 1971 essay6: “The problem that arises when you try to regard science fiction as adult literature is that it’s doubly removed from our ‘real’ concerns. Ordinary mainstream fiction, your Faulkner and Dostoevsky and Hemingway, is by definition madeup stuff—the first remove.

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