Book Note: Histories of the Hidden God (DeConick and Adamson)

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Very excited about this new edited volume in the Gnostica Series published by Acumen.  This volume came out of a very special conference that we held here at Rice in April 2010.  At Rice we have a wonderful program we call GEM (Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism) which is an approach to religious literature and practices that takes seriously the marginalized and forbidden, what I like to call the "edges of religion".  We think it is essential to understand and incorporate the edges of religion into our histories and analyses of religion, rather than focus only on what became over time the center of religious traditions and the authoritative literature.

So the book comes out of the first international GEM conference. 

Histories of the Hidden God: Concealment and Revelation in Western Gnostic, Esoteric, and Mystical Traditions


edited by myself and Grant Adamson.

The papers deal with the fact that even though Western religious traditions typically portray God as a humanlike creator, lawgiver, and king, both accessible and actively present in history, there is another concurrent tradition that God hides.  This has led to a tension in the traditions.  It is the Gnostic and the mystic who capitalize on the hidden and hiding God.  It is the sage and the artist who try to make accessible to humans the God who is secreted away.  This book explores the secret God from antiquity to the present day.  The book is organized around three themes: the concealment of the hidden God; the human quest for the hidden God; and revelations of the hidden God.

In this book I have published one of my papers on the Gospel of John and Gnostic origins: "Who is hiding in the Gospel of John?  Reconceptualizing Johannine theology and the roots of Gnosticism."