Established in 1963, the Athenea Theologica is the first institution to elaborate a course of gnostic study and practice within a church that is distinctly gnostic. We offer a series of lessons to convey the knowledge and practices essential for adherents of the Gnostic Church around the world.
Our purpose is to bring gnostics worldwide into active synchrony with the Gnostic Church. The Athenea Theologica offers a course of self-guided study, and helps Adherents of the Gnostic Church to develop gnostic practices in harmony with our tradition.
Course of Theology
The Athenea Theologica is not only a course of study. We believe that Man is endowed with free will and limitless potential, and that the soul can unite with Deity in Gnosis. We pursue this mystical vocation as a path of self-perfection and worship in traditional form, in stages of Purification, Illumination, and Theosis (Perfection). As members progress through the Course of Theology they become eligible to receive the rites of the Gnostic Church in person.
Purification: The Associate studies the basic tenets and history of gnosticism and is presented with the historical teachings of our particular tradition concerning both Gnosticism and the Gnostic Church itself. The Associate uses prayers from the Gnostic Hierurgy and learns gnostic interpretations of the Pater Noster. The goal of the Associate is purification through moral philosophy (virtue). Therefore, the Associate begins an active process of self-examination. Upon completion the successful Associate is recognized as an Adherent and is eligible (but not required) to receive the baptism of water.
Illumination: The goal of the Adherent is Illumination through natural philosophy. The Adherent studies gnostic cosmogonies and the Platonic conception of the soul; and worships in synchrony with the liturgical calendar. After a period of at least one year, the successful Adherent is eligible to receive the second baptism (of air and fire), by which he/she is recognized as a Credent.
Perfection: The Credent studies the Cathar gnosis, and investigates the doctrines and practices of the Gnostic Church more thoroughly by studying their historical evolution. The goal of the Credent is Perfection through theology. The successful Credent is eligible for initiation as a Perfecti, which is the laity of the Gnostic Church.
Membership in the Athenea Theologica is offered worldwide to those who pursue Gnosis and who:
- Affirm a belief in Deity.
- Promise to respect the traditions of the Gnostic Church.
- Promise to exercise patience, respect, benevolence, understanding and love towards their brothers and sisters and toward all humanity.
- Promise to bear in mind that the purpose of the Confraternity is not to establish dogmatizing Masters or impose doctrines and rules, but instead to gather together humble students devoted to the pursuit of Truth, and respect for the dictates of individual conscience.
The Gnostic Church does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, political ideology, class, or social condition.
Initiations and studies are entirely free of charge.
If you are interested in becoming an Associate here is a Petition for Membership.