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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Gnostic Wolfe
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 08:38:31 -0700

> Here's a connection I've never teased out before: Silk is (in 
> part) St. Francis of Assisi, who lived from 1181 to 1226, in
> Umbria; 

Yes ... his preaching to animals (and birds in particular)
should make that clear.

He's also part Father Brown, I think.

> The Catholic Encyclopedia doesn't say anything about Francis
> opposing the Albigensians, but the temporal overlap is striking.

...yes, particularly given the other observations in your
post. Nicely done.

Is the Chapter, then, inherently Gnostic? Interestingly, it 
does not seem to be -- though "enlightenment" has some aspects
of _gnosis_, it partakes quite as much of the prophetic trance,
and the "prayer of union" spoken of by St. Teresa of Avila;
and there is nothing about the teachings or acts of the Chapter
that makes me think "Gnosticism." Rather, it is a reasonably
orthodox sort of middle-Eastern polytheism -- the sort which 
preceded and developed into monothesitic Judaism -- which,
however, happens to exist in a pocket universe whose nature is, 
in fact, Gnostic; which in turn exists in a larger universe 
whose nature is what one might expect from the teachings of
orthodox Catholicism...

I don't know why people think Wolfe is complicated. 8*)



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