The Secret Gospel of Mark
Morton Smith,
Clement of Alexandria
and four decades of academic burlesque
Robert Conner



Format: Softcover/160 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-68-8
Subjects: Religious Studies

While cataloging material in the library of the monastery of Mar Saba in 1958, Morton Smith discovered a quotation from a letter of Clement of Alexandria copied in the end pages of a 17th century collection of the letters of Ignatius. After more than a decade of collaborative analysis of the find, Smith published his conclusions in 1973, setting off a firestorm of controversy in the New Testament studies guild.

In 1975, a Jesuit scholar, Quentin Quesnell, claimed the letter had been forged and implied that Smith was the forger, moving the focus of debate off the text itself and onto Smith. Since then the pages containing the letter have been removed from the book and possibly destroyed, while Catholic and evangelical writers, none of whom have ever seen the pages in question, continue to claim that Smith forged the letter.

Following his death in 1991, accusations against Smith took on a considerably more personal tone, highlighting his alleged homosexuality and by implication his dishonesty and moral perversity. Although the question of authenticity remains unresolved, the controversy has opened a window on the intellectually corrupt nature of apologetic New Testament studies, a subject of greater importance than the authenticity of early Christian texts.

William Lilly:
The Last Magician
Adept & Astrologer
Peter Stockinger & Sue Ward,
Foreword by David Conway



Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-62-6
Subjects: Astrology, Biography, Magic.

Born less than a year before the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, William Lilly lived during one of the most turbulent times in English history. Like so many of his generation, he had to deal with the plague, was drawn into the madness of the English Civil War and was forced to take sides, and witnessed the regicide of King Charles I. Lilly lived in a time of enormous religious and social upheaval, but his astrology remained the outer expression of a magical world-view, based on hermetic and neo-Platonic principles and rooted in the 16th century.

This book provides the reader with a thorough introduction to the world of William Lilly, the famous 17th century astrologer and magician. It brings together transcripts of his autobiography and of some of his most important works. It also includes Peter Stockinger and Sue Ward’s Monster of Ingratitude, an investigative journey offering new insights into the notorious contention between Lilly and the astrologer John Gadbury. Amongst other valuable information, the book contains:

· The Life of William Lilly, Student in Astrology

Transcribed from the autograph, with annotations, commentaries and biographical notes, including Elias Ashmole’s addenda. Nativities of some notable persons appended.

· The Nativity of Sir William Wittypoole
Transcript of a nativity, rectified and directed by William Lilly, a previously unpublished manuscript providing the reader with an exciting insight into the working methods of the master astrologer.

· Monster of Ingratitude
This research contains brief biographies of Lilly and Gadbury. It shows how their enmity began, developed and ended, including details of the rather one-sided pamphlet war. An in-depth study of published material, timelines and bibliographic entries of all primary sources used are also included and provide the grounds for a different explanation from that commonly proposed.

”The Last Magician is a very worthwhile work. Although some parts are hard going for the non-specialist, others are of value to anyone with an interest in Enlightenment esotericism and seventeenth-century English history in general. — Clive Prince.”

Read the full review:

Kirk Little “The Mountain Astrologer” review

Magic in Christianity:
From Jesus to Gnosticism
Robert Conner



Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-61-9
Subjects: Religious Studies/Gnosticism/Magic

The world of Jesus and the early Christians swarmed with prophets and exorcists, holy men and healers, who invoked angels and demons, gods and ghosts. Magic in Christianity: From Jesus to the Gnostics explores that world through the surviving texts of the first Christians and their pagan and Jewish contemporaries.

Ecstatic spirit possession, handing opponents over to Satan, sending demons into swine, striking others dead on the spot by pronouncing curses, using articles of clothing and parts of corpses to perform magical healing and exorcism, invoking ghosts and angels for protection—these are all ancient Christian practices described in the New Testament, explained in detail by early Christian writers, and preserved by Christian amulets.

Pagans and Jews accused Jesus and his followers of practicing magic and Christians accused one another of sorcery. Both pagan and early orthodox writers describe the rituals of the gnostic sects in detail, including the magical passwords required to cross through the gates of the lower heavens.

Magic in Christianity: From Jesus to the Gnostics examines evidence from the New Testament, the first Christian apologists, early apocryphal works, curse tablets and amulets to reconstruct the apocalyptic magical world of Jesus and the first Christians.

“a compelling and striking exemplar of why independent scholarship is such an important facet of the academic studies…Recommended.”
Dale Evans, Ph.D., review of Jesus the Sorcerer, Journal for the Academic Study of Magic.
“a fascinating and thought provoking read…one of the most learned works I have had the opportunity to read in this genre.”
Eric W. Northway, Ph.D., review of Magic in the New Testament, The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies.

“Magic in Christianity: from Jesus to the Gnostics” – podcast from Robert Conner author of Magic in the New Testament


Jesus The Sorcerer
Robert Conner

Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1869928-957
Subjects: Christian Magic

The most complete summation to date of the New Testament evidence for magical practice by Jesus and the early Christians. The very notion of Jesus being a sorcerer runs so against the grain of the Western cultural myth that even non-Christians are likely to find it far-fetched or even vaguely disturbing. Nevertheless, scholars steadily accumulated evidence for magi-cal practices in the New Testament throughout much of the 20th century . It is that ever expanding body of knowledge that has made this book possible. This book examines the following: The nature of the earliest Christian documents, the defects of their trans-mission, and the evidence for the suppression of descriptions of magical acts.

The closely related problem of the New Testament accounts as historical sources.

The radically apocalyptic nature of Jesus’ message and the expectations of the early church.

The failure of the apocalypse to occur and the theological reaction to that failure.

The role of magic and mystery religion in early Christianity.

A revisiting of the story of the “beloved disciple” and what it may tell us about Jesus and suppression of evidence about his life.



Documentary Evidence / Infancy Narratives / Confrontation / Resurrection as Ghost Story /Apocalyptic Prophet / Apocalypse Postponed, / Magic and Mystery, / Jesus the Magician / Spirit Versus Spirit, / Ecstatic Inner Circle, / Christian Mysteries, / Secret Gospel of Mark, / Beloved Disciple, / On the Use of youth in Magic, / Apocalypse, Magic, and Christianity, / “son of David.” / Mary Magdalene

Magic in The New Testament
Robert Conner

Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1906958-275
Subjects: Christian Magic

Early Christians were accused of practicing magic by Jews, Pagans, and other Christians. Magic in the New Testament examines magical praxis common to the New Testament, the magical papyri, the Sepher Ha-Razim, the Book of Enoch, the apocryphal Acts and the pre-Nicene church fathers and surveys the professional literature on early Christian magic from Additional topic include:

magic, family and sexuality /

the Old Testament background of early Christian magic /

the relationship between magic and apocalypticism /

veneration of relics and necromantic sorcery /

resurrection, ghost stories and polymorphism /

magic and mystery cult in early Christianity.


The Question of Sources / The Holy Family / The Looming Apocalypse / The Final Confrontation / Resurrection or Ghost Story?/Magical Palestine / Jesus the Magician / A Darker Sorcery / Christian Necromancy / Cults of Possession / Spirit Versus Spirit / The Christian Mysteries/The Son of Horus / Last Rite