Writings on an Unknown History
TarcherPerigee, 9780399161827, 240pp.
Publication Date: February 7, 2013
Nostradamus...channeling...Atlantis...divination. Most serious people consider such topics nonsense. But look again. Writing with intellectual verve and a deeply critical mind, religious thinker Richard Smoley explores and reconsiders the supernatural in history and today.
We are often conditioned to think of the Judeo-Christian tradition as the only valid, historically accurate, and rational spiritual philosophy. Occultism, magic, and the esoteric are, by contrast, considered illegitimate, delusional, and lacking in intrinsic worth. Supernatural challenges this prejudice, revealing that Western occult traditions are richer and more historically impactful than most of us imagine. The book reveals hidden diamonds and neglected ideas that characterize the magical tradition in the West.
For any reader, at any level of experience, who has ever been curious about an arcane subject – from psychical powers to secret societies – here is a book that gives a complete yet precise, critical, yet serious, and always respectful account of topics from the unseen world. Supernatural is a brilliant primer to the occult and magical traditions of the West.
Praise for RICHARD SMOLEY
“I have a standing rule: I read anything Richard Smoley writes.” —Larry Dossey, M.D.
“Smoley . . . is adept at unknotting the paradoxes of spiritual traditions and making new connections across centuries and languages.” —Library Journal
“He is one of the liveliest, most intrepid, and most gifted explorers of the spiritual landscape writing today.”
—Ptolemy Tompkins, author of Paradise Fever
About the Author
One of today’s most highly regarded writers on esoteric topics, RICHARD SMOLEY is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Oxford. He was a longtime editor of the venerated spiritual journal Gnosis. Smoley is the author of books including Inner Christianity, The Essential Nostradamus, and Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism. He currently works as editor of Quest Books and of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He lives in Chicago.
Praise For Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History…
“I have a standing rule: I read anything Richard Smoley writes.”
—Larry Dossey, M.D.“Smoley . . . is adept at unknotting the paradoxes of spiritual traditions and making new connections across centuries and languages.”
—Library Journal“He is one of the liveliest, most intrepid, and most gifted explorers of the spiritual landscape writing today.”
—Ptolemy Tompkins, author of Paradise Fever"With scholarly precision, [Smoley] revisits Nostradamus, The Da Vinci Code, Atlantis, Freemasonry, A Course in Miracles, New Thought, and many other famed repositories of “secret wisdom”. Fair and clear-eyed, he communicates what his research unearthed in a surprisingly lively style. He speaks honestly to his readers as he recounts, elaborates and debunks. It makes for an intriguing read as well as excellent reference material."
—Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight