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Stephan A. Hoeller

Stephan A. Hoeller

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Stephan A. Hoeller, is a writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, scholar and religious leader. Born in Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 he received a Ph.D. in philosophy with a minor in the philosophy of religion from the University of Innsbruck in Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...



Richard, Duc de Palatine established a modern-day gnostic church, the Pre-Nicene Gnostic Catholic Church, in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during the 1950s. Duc de Palatine commissioned Hoeller to come to the United States, settling in Southern California in 1952, to continue the work they started in England. After the death of Duc de Palatine in the 1970s, Hoeller changed the church's name to the Ecclesia Gnostica
Ecclesia Gnostica
The Ecclesia Gnostica is an openly Gnostic liturgical Church that is practicing publicly. It is centered in Los Angeles, California with parishes in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; Sedona, Arizona; and Oslo, Norway...

Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "the Gnostic Church").

Hoeller is Professor Emeritus of comparative religion
Comparative religion
Comparative religion is a field of religious studies that analyzes the similarities and differences of themes, myths, rituals and concepts among the world's religions...

 at the College of Oriental Studies in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. An author and scholar of gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

 and Jungian psychology, he is also Regionary Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica
Ecclesia Gnostica
The Ecclesia Gnostica is an openly Gnostic liturgical Church that is practicing publicly. It is centered in Los Angeles, California with parishes in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; Sedona, Arizona; and Oslo, Norway...

, having been consecretated to the office in 1967 by the Duc de Palatine, and thus is the senior holder of the English Gnostic Transmission in America.

Hoeller is a member of the lecturing faculty of Manly P. Hall's Philosophical Research Society
Philosophical Research Society
The Philosophical Research Society is an American nonprofit organization founded in 1934, by the prolific author and scholar Manly Palmer Hall, which provides learning and development of a philosophy of life which embraces conciliation of religion and science and higher understandings of life...

, a national speaker for the Theosophical Society of America
Theosophical Society Adyar
The Theosophy Society - Adyar is the name of a section of the Theosophical Society founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and others in 1875. Its headquarters moved with Blavatsky and president Henry Steel Olcott to Adyar, an area of Chennai in 1883...

, and Director of Studies for the Gnostic Society
Gnostic Society
The Gnostic Society is an organization founded in Los Angeles in 1928, and incorporated in 1939, by John Morgan Pryse and his brother James Morgan Pryse for studies of Gnosticism. Stephan A...

 centered in Los Angeles. He was a frequent contributor to the now defunct Gnosis
Gnosis (magazine)
Gnosis was an American magazine published from 1985 to 1999, devoted to the western esoteric tradition.Gnosis was published by the Lumen Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in California by Jay Kinney and Dixie Tracy-Kinney. It had offices in San Francisco. 5,000 copies were...


Hoeller, a Freemason, has resided in Hollywood for over 40 years. During a 2003 interview, he talked about Gnosticism:
"I think we could describe it as a very early form of Christianity, very different in many respects from what Christianity became later on. It is much more individualistic. It is much more orientated toward the personal, spiritual advancement and transformation of the individual, regarding figures such as Jesus as being helpers rather than sacrificial saviors. It is a form of religion that has a much more ecumenical and universal scope in terms of its relationship to spiritual, religious traditions other than the Christian.
I would say that this appears to be, as far as Gnosticism is concerned, the time that the Greeks called the kairos, the time when the Gods are reborn. We live in an age, I think, when certain timeless ideas, which have been submerged and subdued for a long time, are making their appearance once again. In that respect we're living in very interesting times as the Chinese would say. Interesting times, spiritually powerful times, always cast a great shadow. There will also be great difficulties, but I think that Gnostic traditions, along with a number of kindred ideas, are being reborn at this time, and will have a significant influence in the future. Those of us who find ourselves working within that field are singularly blessed that we can do this work at this particular time. So I feel I'm at the right place and at the right time and I am profoundly grateful for all of that."

Partial bibliography

  • The Royal Road : A Manual of Kabalistic Meditations on the Tarot (1975), ISBN 0835604659 Second Edition republished as: The Fool's Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot (2004) ISBN 0835608395
  • The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead (1982), ISBN 083560568X
  • Jung and the Lost Gospels (1989), ISBN 0835606465
  • Freedom: Alchemy for a Voluntary Society (1992), ISBN 0835606783
  • Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing (2002), ISBN 0835608166

External links