The Secret of the Christian Way

A Contemplative Ascent through the Writings of Jean Borella

By Jean Borella
Edited and translated by G. John Champoux
Foreword by Wolfgang Smith

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9780791448441, 215 pages, February 2001
Hardcover : 9780791448434, 215 pages, February 2001

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Table of contents


The Gnosis with a True Name

The First Stage
Contemplating God through His Vestiges in the Universe

1. Trinity and Creation

The Second Stage
Contemplating God in His Vestiges in the Sense World
2. The Inevitable "Failure" of Nicholas of Cusa
3. The Essence of the Symbol

The Third Stage
Contemplating God through His Image Stamped upon Our Natural Powers
4. The Constitution of Man According to the New Testament

The Fourth Stage
Contemplating God in His Image Reformed by the Gifts of Grace
5. Love and Gnosis in the Crucified Mediator
6. The Human Ternary and the Opening of the Heart in the Old Testament

The Fifth Stage
Contemplating the Divine Unity through Its Primary Name which Is Being
7. Love of Self and Love of God

The Sixth Stage
Contemplating the Most Blessed Trinity in Its Name which is Good
8. The Trinitarian Functions of the Hypostases

The Seventh Stage
The Sabbath of Rest and Ecstasy
9. The Essence and Forms of the "Body of Christ"
10. The "Body of Christ" and the Work of Salvation
11. The Metaphysics of the Eternal Exposition

Select Bibliography
Name and Theme Index
Scriptural Index

A selection of key writings from the French religious philosopher, Jean Borella.


Gathering key writings from the French religious philosopher Jean Borella's works, this book moves the reader from the immediacy of the physical world to a world deep within ourselves. Throughout Borella's writings, there is a "resurrectional" power to his words, a way of seeing things that "makes all things new," that endows us with an ability to look anew on Christ and his Body the Church. Translator and editor G. John Champoux has used a selection from Saint Bonaventure's The Soul's Journey into God to preface each of Borella's writings and to show how these insights can take us from our ordinary surroundings into our innermost world.

Jean Borella is a retired Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the University of Nancy II. He is the author of many books, including most recently, Le sens du surnaturel, Symbolisme et réalité, and Ésotérisme guénonien et mystère chrétien. G. John Champoux has also translated Jean Borella's The Sense of the Supernatural.


"A noted French professor of Christian theology, Borella combines careful historical scholarship with traditionalist (largely Guenonian) metaphysics to produce a series of poetically charged meditations on the Christian mysteries, which together constitute a kind of 'esoteric systematic theology.' This is unlike any other work I know. There are, of course, many other systematic approaches to doctrine, other sensitive analyses of fundamental religious symbols, and other claims to uncovering the esoteric essence of the Christian tradition. But this book combines them all, in a way that is consistently fresh and yet always thoughtfully grounded." — James S. Cutsinger, author of Advice to the Serious Seeker: Meditations on the Teaching of Frithjof Schuon

"By showing that authentic gnosticism is an example of the esoteric current found in all religion, this book balances many superficial judgments about gnosticism. It is an exceptionally penetrating view of a fascinating and widely misunderstood subject." — Jacob Needleman, author of Time and the Soul and coeditor of Modern Esoteric Spirituality