A Theology of Love (Paperback)

Reimagining Christianity through A Course in Miracles

By Richard Smoley

Inner Traditions, 9781620559253, 240pp.

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A spirituality based on love, not fear

• Shares key, inspiring teachings from A Course in Miracles as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and the Sefer Yetzirah, the oldest known Kabbalistic text

• Cites philosophical wisdom from Kant, Blake, Jung, and Gurdjieff, alongside cognitive science, to reveal how the world is not difficult and flawed, but our fear-based mind-sets lead us to see it that way

• Offers a path to help you regenerate from the “fallen” state and experience God as infinite love and light

In the West, theology has almost always meant Christian theology--a hodgepodge of beliefs that are hard to make sense of. Why, for example, should an all-loving, merciful God have gotten mad at the human race because someone ate a piece of fruit six thousand years ago? And why would he send part of himself down to earth to be tortured to death? These beliefs, stated baldly, are nonsensical. Millions of people are realizing this and losing their faith. The time has come to reenvision Christian theology without contradictory teachings laced with fear. It is time for a theology of love and miracles.

Richard Smoley reframes Christian theology using logical, consistent, and easy-to-understand teachings of unconditional love and forgiveness. He draws inspiration not only from the Bible, but also from Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and from esoteric and mystical teachings, such as A Course in Miracles and the Sefer Yetzirah, the oldest known Kabbalistic text. He explains how the “fallen” state of the human condition, not one of sin but of oblivion, leads us to experience the world as flawed and problematic--not wholly evil, but not wholly good.

Citing philosophical wisdom from Kant, Blake, Jung, and Gurdjieff, alongside cognitive science, Smoley reveals how it is not the world that is flawed, but the way we see the world. Sharing key teachings from A Course in Miracles, he shows that our fear-based mind-sets--often filled with anxiety, suffering, and shame--lead us to feel separated from God when, in fact, we are all extensions of a God of infinite love and light.

Offering a path to help you regenerate from the “fallen” state and see the real spiritual world and loving God that lies behind it, the author provides ways for each of us to craft our own self-consistent theology. He also lays out a vision for the future of spirituality, a path for present-day religion to transform into something higher and more universal.


About the Author

Richard Smoley is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Western esoteric traditions, with degrees from both Harvard and Oxford. His many books include Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition and How God Became God: What Scholars Are Really Saying about God and the Bible. Former editor of Gnosis, he is now editor of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He lives in Winfield, Illinois.


Praise For A Theology of Love: Reimagining Christianity through A Course in Miracles

"If there is anything that can help humanity towards an age of the Holy Spirit (the subject of a wonderful discussion in chapter 17), it is surely radical forgiveness. For the vision of such love, and help along the way of living it, we can be grateful to both A Course in Miracles and Richard Smoley."
— (John Plummer, Quest)

“I literally cannot think of another scholar who could reasonably attempt what Richard Smoley not only attempts but succeeds in doing in A Theology of Love. Smoley constructs a new, mysterious, utterly practical, and broadly gnostic Christian-based approach to life; it is one of mysticism, questioning, critical belief, and personal change. Some contemporary scholars possess the intellect, some possess the inner experience--but none, other than Smoley, possess both, and in sufficient amounts, to achieve this unprecedented task. When you read A Theology of Love you will understand why Richard is our generation’s premier independent scholar of spirituality.”
— (Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America and The Miracle Club)

“In our increasingly secular world, people hunger for a way of harmonizing their actual spiritual experiences and their inner knowing with religious traditions that no longer affirm them. In A Theology of Love, Richard Smoley shows how this is possible. This is a powerful contribution, powerful because it is also simple and uncomplicated. To those who grieve that Christianity has lost its way because of its sellout to tawdry, unprincipled politicians, Smoley’s message is CPR for the soul.”
— (Larry Dossey, M.D., author of One Mind)

“This book addresses some very important issues for the community that calls itself Christian. The author’s breadth of knowledge and his ability to talk the ecclesiastical talk should help his message reach many readers who know nothing about A Course in Miracles but would find that it speaks to them. And maybe it will help to dispel the glut of misinformation that’s out there, too.”
— (Robert Rosenthal, M.D., author of From Never-Mind to Ever-Mind and From Plagues to Miracles)

“Far and away the most exciting examination of the core Christian promise and its continuing relevance for us today that I have read in years.”
— (Ptolemy Tompkins, coauthor of Proof of Angels)

“No one gives a deeper and more balanced account of what he calls ‘inner Christianity’ than Richard Smoley. Historically erudite and theologically awake, he is that rare scholar who is a practitioner--well versed in the spiritual practices of all those currents of ‘true Christianity’ that recognize that to be a ‘Christian’ is to become a ‘Christ’ and embody his unconditional love of human beings (individually, as beings of infinite and absolute value) and humanity as such: the human project. Too much of contemporary Christian thought ignores this fundamental teaching--at its and our peril. A Theology of Love will perhaps deepen the understanding of those who seek a deeper, healthier Christian path.”
— (Christopher Bamford, author of Healing Madonnas and An Endless Trace)

"At the end of my first reading of the book, I did want to want to set it down, only partially tongue in cheek, with a satisfying hurrah of ‘Valentinus rides again’! Valentinus having been the most successful and purportedly eloquent of early Gnostic writers. Whether you are convinced or not, it is one of those books that wholly deserves to be seriously wrestled with to assure yourself as to why or why not? It, also, deserves to prompt more serious Christian theological reflection on the Course in Miracles itself (though on the likelihood of that, I expect I am as pessimistic as the author)!"
— Nicholas Colloff, Paradigm Explorer Journal