The Coming of the Star-Child: The Reception of the Revelation of the Magi in New Age Religious Thought and Ufology

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
Brent Landau University of Texas at Austin

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The Revelation of the Magi is the longest and most complex ancient Christian apocryphal writing devoted to the Magi. In this paper, after discussing the basic issues surrounding the interpretation of this text, I explore the popular reception of the text after my publication of it in 2010. This popular reception has been dominated by New Age and ufological (that is, the theorizing of unidentified flying objects) interpretative perspectives. Rather than viewing these interpretations as anachronistic, the paper argues that they may have far more in common with the circumstances that gave rise to the Revelation of the Magi than might initially be supposed. Ultimately, the Revelation of the Magi can be profitably characterized as a “gnostic” text—despite its lack of a demiurge—because of its strongly countercultural religious outlook, an outlook it shares with much New Age religious thought.

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