Spirituality in the stars
In The Gospel and The Zodiac: The Secret Truth About Jesus, Bill Darlison offers a fascinating interpretation of St Mark’s Gospel drawing on a long tradition of astrology and cosmology.
We are forever encountering debates about Who was Jesus? Or even, Did Jesus exist? But do these add anything to our understanding of the spirituality that he represented? In The Gospel and the Zodiac: The Secret Truth About Jesus, Bill Darlison argues that a more esoteric reading of the Gospel of St Mark offers an interpretation that goes beyond mere biography.
This book begins by examining two approaches to the Gospels that have their origins at the very beginning of the Christian church: those who believe that the Gospels are essentially historical accounts of the life of Jesus and those who sought hidden, more spiritual meanings to these books. Darlison is firmly of the latter school of thought. In particular, he concentrates on the Gospel of Mark, arguing that a more meaningful interpretation of the book comes from reading it in the tradition of astrological and cosmological symbolism that can also be seen in other religions. He shows that by interpreting this Gospel as a spiritual journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac we can have a better understanding of the spiritual journey that it represents, and we can see the significance of why its structure differs from the other Gospels.
The Gospel and the Zodiac is an erudite but highly readable book. It offers fascinating insights into the development of the early Church and the ways in which the Gospels came to be interpreted. It also provides a good account of how astrology and cosmology has appeared in various religions and the important symbolic parts that these had to play. Finally it offers an interpretation of Mark’s Gospel, showing Jesus moving through the twelve signs of the zodiac until he reaches a point of spiritual enlightenment - an example that should be emulated.
Bill Darlison is the Senior Minister of the Dublin Unitarian Church. Born in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, he trained for the Catholic priesthood in Rome at the beginning of the seventies, but was never ordained. He worked as a teacher for twenty years and was minister in Wakefield for two. He has written widely, and is author of The Shortest Distance: 101 Stories from the World’s Spiritual Traditions.
Many readers will find this book illuminating, including those interested in church history, astrology, Biblical scholarship and esotericism and mystical traditions in general.