Gnosticism, Then & Now – a conversation with Rupert Sheldrake

A MP3 version of the conversation is here.

The label “gnostic” is used to recommend and condemn. So what is, and what was, Gnosticism?

This episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, with Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon, takes a lead from a series of fascinating essays exploring the ancient movement and its modern forms by the philosopher, David Bentley Hart.

Gnosticism was originally a set of cosmologies which shared the sense that the created order was blocked from the celestial spheres by angelic and demonic powers.

It was remarkably widespread amongst early Christians of all kinds. They turned to Christ, in the hope of redemption or escape. Nowadays, it is used in different ways, often to express a sense of yearning or hope.

As Rupert and Mark discuss, gnosticism may offer the promise of a re-enchanted cosmos, freed from the Archons of the machine and mammon. Properly understood, it might offer a key for our times.

Two of the essays written by David Bentley Hart are available without subscribing to Substack.

For more dialogues see: