Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
Excellent introduction to the Hermetica
am 21. Juni 2000
Speaking from the perspective of a fundamentalist Christian, this book has a lot of very revealing information concerning one of the most influential collections of literature on early Christian philosophers such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen. It's just one more reason that Christians should avoid philosophy altogether (Col. 2:9). Even so, it's well worth the time to read it. Did the idea of being "born again now" have its origin, in part, in the Hermetica? Possibly. Did the idea of mystic contemplation of the unknowable god, in contradistinction to Jer. 9:23-24, have its origin, in part, in the Hermetica? Again, possibly. This book is a good place to begin such investigative studies.
This book gives only an overview of the material contained in the Hermetica. For more advanced studies, I would recommend "The Egyptian Hermes" by Garth Fowden and "Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition" by Frances Yates. What's annoying is that a bibliography is given at the end of the book, but there are NO FOOTNOTES in the text. Comments such as "The pyramid texts of Saqquara...are over 5000 years old and yet contain doctrines that are identical to those expounded in the Hermetica [which were composed, most likely from pre-existing material, in the 2nd and/or 3rd cent. AD]" may or may not be found in the texts in the bibliography. There's no easy way to tell, other than purchasing and reading the listed titles. It's even more annoying that one of the books in the bibliography is badly misrepresented. The author's name is Lucie Lamy, not Lucy Lamy, and the title is "Egyptian Mysteries: New Light on Ancient Knowledge" not "The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt." This is the one that the aforementioned comment most likely came from, but it took me several weeks to realize the authors' mistake.
Okay, I'm done griping now. Enjoy the read. :-)