Thursday, November 28, 2019

Jesus Mysticism and A Course in Miracles




A paper I presented at the "Gnostic America: The Afterlives of Gnosticism in American Religion and Culture" conference at Rice University in March 2018 has just been published in Gnosis: The Journal for Gnostic Studies. The article is entitled "American Gnosis: Jesus Mysticism in A Course in Miracles," and expands on my previous study, "'Knowledge is Truth'': A Course in Miracles as Neo-Gnostic Scripture," which suggested that the Course reflects significant trends in contemporary Western religiosity, especially the quest for alternative forms of esoteric spiritual knowledge, authority, and experience in a nominally Christian or post-Christian Western world. Since its publication in 1976, A Course in Miracles - a book allegedly received from "Jesus" and "scribed" by Dr. Helen Schucman - a research psychologist at Columbia Medical Center in NYC - has not received that much attention from scholars of religion. There may be many reasons for this, but one is surely the Course's implicit claim that it comes from Jesus, a claim also key to its contemporary success.