Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices

Mystery and secrecy were central concepts in the ritual, rhetoric, and sociological stratification of antique Mediterranean religions. That the ultimate nature and workings of the divine were secret, and either could not or should not be revealed except as a mystery for the initiated, was widely accepted among Pagans, Jews, and then Christians, both Gnostic and otherwise. The similarities and differences in the language of mystery and secrecy across religious and cultural borders are thus crucial for understanding this important period of the history of religions.

The present anthology aims to present and analyze a wide selection of sources elucidating this theme, reflecting the correspondingly wide scholarly interests of Professor Einar Thomassen in honor of his 60th birthday.

I'm pretty much a rookie when it comes to the study of (late) antiquity, but I can recognize that this anthology is a 'must-have' if you're interested in that sort of thing. I've certainly enjoyed many of Prof. Einar Thomassen's (to whom the book is tributed) lectures through the years. And if any of his brilliancy has emanated onto his students and colleages, this publication will show for it.

That being said, BRILL isn't exactly known for selling cheap books. I would consider the "Recommend this product to your librarian" link. 


Disclosure: One of my good friends, Christian Bull, is one of the editors.