Re-Imagining Early Christians and Gnostics
Joseph Rowe, Translator, Writer, Musician, Teacher and more
Original Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010


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The often-suppressed writings of the beginnings of the Christian era known as "gnostic" (especially the Gospel of Thomas) not only suggest a deeper kind of Christianity, they have universal philosophical and psychological implications. We know little historically about these early Christians and gnostics, not least because of ruthless suppressions by the later Roman Church—but this very lack of outer knowledge can become an ally in the quest for a deeper inner knowledge, spurring us toward a creative re-imagining of who these people might have been. The goal in this effort of re-imagining is not so much a reconstruction, nor a rediscovery, of some lost ancient wisdom. Instead it is a new, imaginal discovery of how these gnostic texts can reverberate psychologically, poetically, and musically in the context of contemporary pluralism, and the evolutionary crisis in which we live.

Joseph Rowe is a storyteller, musician, teacher, music therapist, and writer who lives in Paris. He is the translator of a number of books on religion and philosophy from French to English, including Jean-Yves Leloup's Coptic-to-French translations and exegeses of the major gnostic gospels, and also authors such as Henry Corbin and Régis Debray. He wrote and performed a number of theatrical pieces which have been widely performed in France and Europe, some of which he describes as "philosophy of religion as performance art," including "From Jerusalem to Cordoba", with his co-creator and partner, singer Catherine Braslavsky.


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