AN ENDLESS TRACE: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West

Christopher Bamford, Author, Philip Zaleski, Introduction by ; intro. by Philip Zaleski. Codhill Press $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-930337-07-7

In a collection of essays, Bamford, director of Lindisfarne Books, explores Sophia, or divine feminine wisdom, as expressed throughout the hermetic or esoteric tradition in Christianity, and in the profound insights of many great Western thinkers and poets—and potentially in each of us as we learn to act like Wisdom herself, opening to receive what God gives. Bamford embraces a difficult subject with personal passion, rendering it with a poetry and incision that sincere readers will find deeply inspiring. Bamford describes the way feminine wisdom acts as the companion and helper to God—a kind of omnipresent cloud or mist that mirrors God's creation. Creation, we learn, took place as a great sigh of compassion, as Sophia helped God become known by becoming incarnate in all that exists. "Sophia's other name, revealed since the Mystery of Golgotha, is primordial cosmic human nature itself," writes Bamford. Christianity is founded upon the belief that Christ is not a teacher or a teaching, but an act of divine creation that reprises the original creation. Through Christ, God enters creation again and again; if only our hearts could awaken to see how "the sacred is in the commonplace and the ordinary is the potentially divine." Bamford proceeds to give a thrilling glimpse of what it might mean to awaken to our original, pure nature, to become wise and to know the world and ourselves through the Incarnation. Ranging through Western tradition, from the ancient Hermetic tradition to the medieval troubadours to the Romantics, Bamford offers a jewel box full of gems about what it can mean to be compassionate and open-hearted, to be Sophia. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
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