Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: old or new?
- [Somewhat off-topic -- apologies in advance]
Hmmm.... Interesting. Same case with the Roman Catholics. The
pre-Vatican II (ante 1965) Mass ("Tridentine") was done with the back
of the priest to the congregation, never facing.
After V. II, a new, much simpler (mostly three marble slabs) altar was
added so the priest would face the people. Newer churches of course
incorporated the revised liturgical practice.
Personally, I prefer the older style. One sees that occasionally at
Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian services in my diocese.
As Debbie points out, change the traditional way of doing things and
something is lost. The more "mystical" - if you will - aspects of the
Latin Mass were lost after the changes. The language become the common
vernacular, the Sacraments lost a great deal of their mystery, and so
on. The entire "feel" was changed; it was not at all the same
Returning to Gnosticism, I fail to see how it can be modernized for
reasons that have been hashed over here numerous times.
That's not to say some form(s) Neo-Gnosticism can't be developed based
on historical sources. I understand some groups have done just that
(just as some Neo-Pagan groups have "reconstructed" ancient religions,
e.g., Hellenismos and Kemeticism).
Wicca, according to Gerald Gardner was a revived continuation of
ancient British pagan practices (cf. Hutton). While the veracity of
that claim is suspect, there is no doubt that Wicca "works" for quite a
Presumably the same could be true of Neo-Gnosticism. Most any religious
(or non-religious) system can find at least a few followers.
--- debbie wheeler <mer248lina@...> wrote:
> I do not know enough about the rituals yet but i am minded to bringup what for me is an interesting point. Prior to the 1980 version of
the Book of Common Prayer in the anglian church, the priest during
invocation stood at the alter with arms lifted and his back to the
devoteres. In the 1980s book there was a change in this stance so
that the priest then came forward and was facing the devotees so that
God was seen to be among people rather than afar off. this change
mostly went unnoticed by attendees in terms of the
idealogical/doctinal meaning of the shift of the ritual. If gnostic
rituals were to be modernised, might such subltle changes also occur,
thereby changing relationships between people and the divine?. Of
course i appreciate that in gnosticsm the divine is withheld within -
so to speak- and am unable to offer a suitable analogy.
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