A Brief History Of God with Richard Smoley

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Which came first: the bible or the Church? Why are there are no eyewitness accounts of Jesus' presence on earth? Does it matter? When was Jesus first viewed as on a par with God the Father and as part of the Holy Trinity? Richard Smoley is one of the world's most distinguished authorities on the mystical and esoteric teachings of Western civilization. He's at home with intriguing and complex questions about the history and evolution of Christianity, and how it reflects teachings of the other great wisdom traditions. He brings clarity to the inconsistencies we find in the bible, and sheds light on the reasons for the contemporary resurgence of Gnosticism and the divine feminine. Smoley is at once logical and respectful of the magnificence of faith, and points to elements of spirituality that will stretch your consciousness, your notion of good and evil, and life beyond life. He says, "What is the last sacrifice one has to make? Well, that sacrifice is 'my god.' Your god, your concept of god, your image of god eventually has to be lost. This can be excruciatingly painful, because if my god isn't left, what is there? There's always a need to realize that the absolute reality is far beyond 'my god,' my little conception of god. That can be exhilarating; it can be terrifying." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Richard Smoley was educated at Harvard and Oxford Universities. From 1990 to 1999 he was editor of Gnosis, the award winning journal of Western spiritual traditions, and is currently editor of Quest Books, a publishing arm of the Theosophical Society. He teaches philosophy at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Christianity at the Nine Gates Mystery School.

He is a prolific author whose books include:

  • Forbidden Faith: The Gnostic Legacy From the Gospels to the Da Vinci Code (HarperSanFrancisco 2006)
  • Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition (Shambhala 2002)
  • The Essential Nostradamus (Tarcher 2006).

To find out more information about the work of Richard Smoley go to www.innerchristianity.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why Mary Magdalene was described in the gospels as an adulteress
  • How the New Testament evolved in the first centuries A.D.
  • Why the gospel of Sophia doesn't appear in the modern day New Testament
  • How good and evil are interdependent upon one another
  • How Gnosis is a reality in the world today
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 6/15/2006       Program Number: 3158