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The Fall of Sophia

A Gnostic Text on the Redemption of Universal Consciousness

Foreword by Violet MacDermot and Stephan Hoeller

224 pp.  

Lindisfarne Books




Sophia (the world soul) fell from her place in the heavens to the chaos below...

Sophia is among the most haunting and mysterious figures in Western spirituality. She is also one of the great symbols of the divine feminine in world civilization.

The personification of divine Wisdom, Sophia is praised in the biblical book of Proverbs as co-creator of the universe with God. In the secret teachings of early Christianity known as Gnosticism, she represents our shared consciousness, trapped in the material world as a result of the Fall.

One of the most sublime Gnostic texts is the Pistis Sophia or "Faith Wisdom," a great allegory in which the resurrected Christ explains how he freed the divine Sophia from her imprisonment by the forces of spiritual wickedness. Christ goes on to show his disciples how they will share in this cosmic act of redemption.

In this profound yet accessible work, Egyptologist Violet MacDermot gives us a fresh translation of the Pistis Sophia from the Coptic and discusses it in its historical setting. She also shows us how Sophia's story of is our story. It is a tale of our separation and isolation as a result of ego-consciousness, but it is one in which we, too, can share spiritual liberation. Her engaging discussion relates this work not only to ancient teachings but to the thought of C.G. Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the Kabalah.

Reviews & Endorsements:

March 1, 2002

Egyptologist MacDermot has produced a curious hybrid of a book. It is at once a sober-sided translation of the valuable Gnostic text Pistis Sophia (lightly edited for its internal repetitions) as well as a curious potted history of the Gnostic temper through Western history, beginning with Mani and stopping along the way for the likes of Pico della Mirandola and Lewis Mumford. While it might have been better, even for the educated reader, for MacDermot to have annotated and explicated the mysterious text as fully as possible rather than prefacing it with metahistory, this volume still elicits considerable interest. For larger collections or where interest in neopaganism is strong.

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