Gnosticism is a term covering a group of heresies that for a time had great influence within the early church, including: belief in the existence of a hidden or secret revelation available only to the initiated; rejection of the physical world as evil or impure; and stress on the radical individuality of the spiritual self. In this book Philip Lee finds parallels between gnosticism and belief and practice in contemporary North American Proestantism. Sharply attacking conservatives and liberals alike, Lee spares no one in this penetrating and provocative assessment of the current stage of religion and its effects on values and society at large. The book concludes with a call for a return to orthodoxy and a series of prescriptions for reform. Lee will add a short preface for this paperback edition.