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The Re-Enchantment of the WorldSecular Magic in a Rational Age$
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Joshua Landy and Michael Saler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752992

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752992.001.0001

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Gnosophilia: Bloch, Benjamin, and the Authority of Counter-Tradition

Gnosophilia: Bloch, Benjamin, and the Authority of Counter-Tradition

(p.181) Chapter 10 Gnosophilia: Bloch, Benjamin, and the Authority of Counter-Tradition
The Re-Enchantment of the World

Daniel Jiro Tanaka

Stanford University Press

This chapter claims that Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch—and a large number of less self-reflective moderns—found a new locus, within the material world, for the mystical revelation. It examines gnosticism and asymmetrical dualism. There are, in each case, two worlds, the imperfect and the perfect. The asymmetry lies in the fact that crossworld transit is in one direction only. One can't force his way into the mystery, but only hope for catching esoteric wisdom from the other side. An example is that of the self. If certain strains of psychology are right, the deepest parts of the mind are inaccessible to conscious scrutiny yet indirectly palpable and, when disclosed, redemptive.

Keywords:   gnosticism, re-enchantment, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, asymmetrical dualism, esoteric wisdom, Freudian psychology

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