HermeticismSubmitted by Asclepius on Sun, 05/19/2013 - 17:54
by Ross Bishop
For thousands of years Hermeticism and Judaism coexisted in The Middle East. Hermeticism offered a mystical philosophy in contrast to Judaism’s more practical approach. Hermeticism had widespread acceptance at times but has generally remained a mystical tradition, practiced in remote locations by dedicated adherents.
Although respected by Church theologians privately, Hermeticism has also often been seen as a threat. At a critical period for the fledgling Church in the fourth century, decisions had to be made regarding the Church’s spiritual direction. On one hand the Church could follow the spiritual practices and beliefs of its mystical traditions or it could adopt the rational teachings of men like Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.
Acceptance of the fledgling Church had been spotty throughout the Roman Empire as it had to compete with Roman gods, nature religions, Wicca, Judaism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism. The Gnostics were a Christian sect, but like the Hermetics, held as a core belief a practical gnosis, i.e., direct personal knowledge of the Divine. Both sects held that the true nature of all things was Divine and that people could, through a process of purification, learning and initiation, come to an actual experience of The One.
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