Book Description, Table of Contents, Book Reviews
Reincarnation for Christians
Evidence from Early Christian and Jewish Mystical Traditions
Monsignor John W. Sweeley
267 pages including notes, bibliography, index
A book every Christian should read
Reincarnation was a central belief of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. It was also central to the beliefs of Christians through the 6th century. As such, Reincarnation was taught as a Christian Doctrine by Origin and other Church Fathers. However, it was condemned in the 6th century becasue powerful bishops were fearful if a person believed in Reincarnation they would no longer fear Hell and thus ignore dogma promulgated by the bishops that controlled every aspect, both religious and secular, of how the faithful were to live their lives.
In Reincarnation for Christians: Evidence from Early Christian and Jewish Mystical Traditions, a compelling case is made that Reincarnation was once a vital part of Christianity and should be so today. In doing so, Monsignor Sweeley interweaves the threads of Mystical Judaism and Mystical Christianity in a way that proves there is no conflict between Christianity as we know and practice it and belief in Reincarnation.
Table of Contents
Institutional Christianity's Failure to meet the Needs of the Faithful:
Christian Dogma v. Jesus' Promise of Resurrection
New Age Religion:
General Beliefs, Theologies of New Age Religion, Egyptian and Greek Theosophy, Neo-Platonism
New Age Religion:
Classical theosophy, Modern Theosophy, Catholic Theosophy
History and Development of Kabbalah, Kabbalistic Understanding of God, Sefirot and the Divine Feminine, Human Soul in Kabbalah
Gematria, Medieval to Modern Kabbalah, Reincarnation in Kabbalah
The New Testament, Church Fathers, Jesus as Reincarnated Being
Metempsychosis in Literature:
Greeks, Gnostics, Past Lives, Deja Vu
Resurrection and Reincarnation as Jungian Archetypes: Conversation between John W. Sweeley and Carl Jung
Close Encounters of the ROS Kind, Dream-Memories, John Recognizes Jesus in Utero
This is a book about Western concepts of Reincarnation, which assume that identity is lodged within a subjective essence or soul that persists after death. Dr. Sweeley makes an exhaustive and accurate survey of the history of “soul” in Western esoteric and exoteric philosophy. He finds significant and convincing evidence of teaching about Reincarnation in Jewish and Christian scriptures.
He carefully documents the reasons for the persecution by the Roman Catholic Church of these teachings. He also documents the continuing presence of such teachings in Western thought and within both the Christian and Jewish mystical traditions.
His discussion of Kabbalistic and Theosophical teachings is exhaustive and accurate. He carefully documents arguments against a doctrine of Reincarnation, but, in the end, his arguments for such teachings seem to this writer convincing.
He goes on to incorporate modern psychological investigation (especially Jung) of Reincarnation and shows these findings confirm the esoteric doctrines about Reincarnation.
I find Dr. Sweeley balanced, lucid, and also convincing. I believe anyone reading this book will find it useful to his/her spiritual practice and spiritual reflection.
The book does not consider Eastern approaches to reincarnation, most especially Buddhism. Such teachings do not use the concept of a “soul” to argue for what is termed “rebirth”, but rather use a nuanced and sophisticated discussion of karma and/or conditioned intentionality to demonstrate the survival of personal identity after death.
This lack in Dr. Sweeley’s book in no way undermines his argument, which is, after all, for a Christian concept of Reincarnation. Such a Christian argument for Reincarnation must depend, to remain consistent with the contiguity of Christian Teaching, on a Christian anthropology that uses “soul” as a basic component for the understanding of human existence.
Rev. Canon James Willems, M.A., M.Div.
The Rev. Canon James Willems is an Episcopal priest, teacher of Buddhist meditation, and of the Buddhist Dharma.
“Reincarnation is not simply a fact; it is a necessity of the Divine Will.” How I enjoy seeing these words printed in scholarly and well-researched texts such as this latest of Msgr. Jack Sweeley. Although scholars may never agree on issues such as Reincarnation that so many of the world’s cultures and peoples from centuries past have cherished and defended, this belief remains a source of hope even for vacillating skeptics such as me. Anyone who enjoys the hunt into scriptures and histories will find this book exhilarating. It is a great resource for both personal use and everyone’s library.
Rev. Mother Leslie A. Aguillard, RN, M.Div.
In this timely book about Reincarnation and the Christian tradition, Monsignor Sweeley gives us an eye-opening look into an issue that has long been ignored by mainstream Christian denominations. This thoughtful and well-researched book might well open up a whole new reality to the reader who needs something more than the simplistic explanations previously offered on the topic of life after life.
Most Rev. Alan R. Kemp, D. Min.
CEO, Ascension Alliance Community of Ascensionists
It was a rewarding pleasure to find this quality of research and insight surface in the Judeo-Christian community addressing this complex and necessary subject. When I first began to open up the Christian Mysteries, working in decoding scripture and exploring the “how” and “why” of my other lives, I discovered many answers to questions never addressed or improperly answered by the Church. During that time, I would have been delighted to have had the resource Monsignor Sweeley’s study provides. Now, it serves to fill in a number of holes in understanding I had not been aware of. “Well done, Jack!”
Commander William Buehler, USN (Ret)
Minister: Sanctuary of Machenim Groves
Msgr. Jack Sweeley has amassed an enormous collection of information about the belief called Reincarnation. He includes evidence in support of Reincarnation from the Christian Scriptures as well as from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library. He cites and quotes notables from all walks of life and periods of history who have shared a belief in Reincarnation. He then addresses the logic and morality of Reincarnation to answer long standing theological questions and disputes. Finally, Msgr. Sweeley shows a genius for correlating many diverse thought systems into agreement with the belief in Reincarnation.
Few authors share Msgr. Sweeley’s ability to find such corollaries and make sense of them in ways that are easy for the average reader to understand.
Most Rev. Bernie O Finch, D.C., EMD, DD.
Jack Sweeley has done it again! Reincarnation for Christians is a spellbinding and informative adventure into a subject that has long been extremely sensitive for Christianity. Rational and compelling, the esoteric values expressed here bring the followers of Christ into an arena already populated by millennia of other religious traditions.
Rev. Fr. Thomas Gallub, Ph.D.
Monsignor Jack Sweeley has written a phenomenally well researched presentation on the subject of Reincarnation within the context of Christianity through the centuries in the Western world. He provides ample support of the belief in Reincarnation reflected in the Church Fathers who were free to teach it liberally during the first four centuries.
Once again, in these powerfully transformative times, many in the Western world are accepting the doctrine of Reincarnation, and others are eager to know more about the Christian church’s position on this subject.
It is evident that Monsignor Sweeley poured his soul’s love, devotion, and energy into bringing forth this important work to offer much food for thought to anyone eager to explore the subject of Reincarnation.
He deserves to be congratulated on this major contribution, and I heartily endorse his book and pray that it will extend to a large readership.
Sri Swami Shankarananda Giri
Divine Life Church
Baltimore, MD, USA
Monsignor Jack Sweeley’s Reincarnation for Christians: Why Christians Should Believe in Reincarnation is a greatly detailed, in depth look at Reincarnation from the centuries Before the Common Era through today.
As a believer in Reincarnation, I was amazed at the information that literally packs the pages of Monsignor Sweeley’s book. As you will find, Reincarnation is not just “New Age” but was a major belief in Christianity as well as for thousands of years before Christianity.
Msgr. Sweeley’s Reincarnation for Christians, and the resources therein, are an invaluable tool for anyone who would like to expand their knowledge of reincarnation and its history.
Katy O. Ishee
Author: Pieces of My Heart and Gemini’s Galaxy
The book is a good explanation for Christians on Reincarnation. I hope this missive will help those that need to understand the importance and consolation it brings.
Rev. Mother Loreto Mendez-Ahlers
Whispering Rose Sanctuary
A good read – eye opening.
Very Reverend Jesse Jose Santiago, North American Old Catholic Church
Having read previous works by Jack Sweeley, I was expecting both scholarly excellence and insight. Both are in abundance here. Also present is an appeal to the reader’s own ‘horse sense’ because as you read, Jack appeals to your own sensibilities. A wise man once said, “Once you encounter the truth, you must either accept it or deny it, but you can never go back to previous un-awareness.”
In this book, Monsignor Jack Sweeley will both make you aware and take you to the truth.
Rebecca Ann Taylor
Seminarian, Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch
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