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A Course in Miracles represents a modern-day neo-gnostic scripture that reflects significant trends in contemporary Western religiosity, especially the quest for alternative forms of esoteric “spiritual” knowledge and experience in a nominally Christian or post-Christian Western world. While this text has largely been ignored or marginalized in mainstream scholarship, a critical evaluation of the Course, its editing, reception, and contemporary interpretation not only represents a fascinating case study in how “texts” become invested with “scriptural” authority, but illustrates how the Course’s claims about Jesus and God exemplify the gnosticizing trajectories in the contemporary New Age movement.
HansonRichard P. C.AckroydP. R.EvansC. F.“Biblical Exegesis in the Early Church”The Cambridge History of the Bible. Volume I: From the Beginnings to Jerome1970CambridgeCambridge University Press412453
HansonRichard P. C.AckroydP. R.EvansC. F.“Biblical Exegesis in the Early Church”
The Cambridge History of the Bible. Volume I: From the Beginnings to Jerome
1970CambridgeCambridge University Press412453)| false
PerryRobertMackieGregWatsonAllenOne Course Two Visions: A Comparison of the Teachings of the Circle of Atonement and Ken Wapnick on A Course in Miracles2003Sedona, AZThe Circle of Atonement Teaching and Healing Center
One Course, Two Visions: A Comparison of the Teachings of the Circle of Atonement and Ken Wapnick on A Course in Miracles
2003Sedona, AZThe Circle of Atonement Teaching and Healing Center)| false
WapnickKennethLove Does Not Condemn: The World, the Flesh and the Devil According to Platonism, Christianity, Gnosticism, andA Course in Miracles1989Temecula, CAFoundation for A Course in Miracles
WapnickKennethLove Does Not Condemn: The World, the Flesh and the Devil According to Platonism, Christianity, Gnosticism, and
A Course in Miracles
1989Temecula, CAFoundation for A Course in Miracles)| false
YoganandaParamhansaThe Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You: A Revelatory Commentary on the Original Teachings of Jesus2004Los AngelesSelf-Realization Fellowship2 vols
The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You: A Revelatory Commentary on the Original Teachings of Jesus
2004Los AngelesSelf-Realization Fellowship2 vols)| false
Coburn1984435–59; Graham 1989 129–69; Gill 1987 129–46.
Davies and Wollaston 1993; Malley2004.
W. C. Smith1993141(emphasis added).
Hanegraaff 1998; Newport 1998; Basil1988.
See e.g. Wapnick19891998 1995 1997; Wapnick and Clarke 1995; Williamson 2012  Jampolsky 1985 Skutch 1996 .
Groeschel199382; Larson 2004; Miller 1997; Carroll 2003; Upton 2001 221–50.
The primary source material is Wapnick1991. Gallagher 2014 241 describes this account as “hagiographical . . . Wapnick’s account of Schucman’s life is clearly an insider’s.”
Gallagher2014241. Gallagher further notes that Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures first published in 1875 may have “provided Schucman with a model of the type of book” that she would later write (244).
Wapnick1991115notes that Schucman was “repelled” by what she regarded as “its ‘spooky’ and more incredible aspects” and described these readings as representative of “the nutty fringe of religion.” Wapnick 1991 481 denies that either he or Schucman ever discussed gnosticism as his “interest in it did not really begin until after her death” (in 1981) and “she had no conscious awareness of this important philosophical and religious movement” although he concludes that “there must have been part of Helen’s mind that was familiar with this tradition.”
Wapnick19838352; Wapnick 1995 102.
Wapnick and Clarke199539.
Wapnick (1983) 1998. In his 1992 preface to his 1983 work Forgiveness and Jesus published in the 1998 edition Wapnick wrote: “My teaching now however has a somewhat different focus from before. . . . In my early years of teaching the Course . . . I often taught in the context of the Bible even though it is obvious to serious students of A Course in Miracles that it and the Bible are fundamentally incompatible. . . . I would no longer make some of the statements found in Forgiveness and Jesus” (xiv–xv). He explains this as progression: “since I believe that a bridge between the Bible and the Course has been established I typically now emphasize the discontinuity between the two” (xvi). Wapnick clearly changed his mind teaching and public interpretation of the Course in the years following Schucman’s death.
Wapnick and Clarke19952.
Wapnick and Clarke199543; cf. Wapnick 1989 7.
See Perry Mackie and Watson200348–57.
Wapnick1989418415. As Wapnick puts it “The fundamental unreality of this thought [of separation] is what marks the uniqueness” of the Course (415).
Perry Mackie and Watson200343–59.
Perry Mackie and Watson2003ix.
Perry Mackie and Watson20036.
Perry Mackie and Watson200338–4044–46.
Perry Mackie and Watson200340.
Wapnick1991398–400. Wapnick reports that this “very specific message came on October 2 1976” that is after the publication of the Course.