April D. DeConick Religion: Secret Religion Macmillan Reference USA, 2016
Religion: Secret Religion is part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series dedicated to the study of religion. Composed of twenty-four thematic chapters, this volume looks at the margins of religion or religious texts and traditions that are not considered authoritative by orthodox communities. The volume is broken down into three sections that correspond with different classifications of religion in the margins: gnosticism, with its focuses on knowledge of a transcendent God who is the source of life and the human spirit; esotericism, with its focus on private religion kept from the public and critical of orthodoxy; and mysticism, with its focus on immediate contact with the ultimate reality. Each classification will be explored historically and comparatively to give the reader a more rounded understanding. The volume also includes bibliographies, filmographies, images, a glossary, and a comprehensive index, all of which aid the reader in exploring this rich, rewarding, and relevant field.
Introduction: Religion in the Margins.
1. Gnosticism Emergent: The Beginning of the Study of Gnosticism in the Academy.
2. Gnosticism Theorized: Major Trends and Approaches to the Study of Gnosticism.
3. Gnosticism Disputed: Major Debates in the Field.
4. Gnosticism Historicized: Historical Figures and Movements.
5. Gnosticism Socialized: Gnostic Communities.
6. Gnosticism Recorded: Text, Scripture, and Parascripture.
7. Gnosticism Imagined: Major Ideas and Perspectives of Gnostics.
8. Gnosticism Practiced: Ritual and Performance.
9. Esotericism Emergent: The Beginning of the Study of Esotericism in the Academy.
10. Esotericism Theorized: Major Trends and Approaches to the Study of Esotericism.
11. Esotericism Disputed: Major Debates in the Field.
12. Esotericism Historicized: Historical Figures and Movements.
13. Esotericism Socialized: Esoteric Communities.
14. Esotericism Recorded: Text, Scripture, and Parascripture.
15. Esotericism Imagined: Major Ideas and Perspectives of Esotericists.
16. Esotericism Practiced: Ritual and Performance.
17. Mysticism Emergent: The Beginning of the Study of Mysticism in the Academy.
18. Mysticism Theorized: Major Trends and Approaches to the Study of Mysticism.
19. Mysticism Disputed: Major Debates in the Field.
20. Mysticism Historicized: Historical Figures and Movements.
21. Mysticism Socialized: Mystic Communities.
22. Mysticism Recorded: Text, Scripture, and Parascripture.
23. Mysticism Imagined: Major Ideas and Perspectives of Mystics.
24. Mysticism Practiced: Ritual and Performance.
April D. DeConick is Chair, and Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Department of Religion Rice University. Her most recent books include The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today (2016); Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter (2011); and The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (2007, 2009).