Sunday, September 30, 2012
Prisca theologia is the doctrine within the field of comparative religious studies that asserts that a single, true, theology exists, which threads through all religions, and which was given by God to man in antiquity
The term prisca theologia appears to have been first used by Marsilio Ficino in the fifteenth century. Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola endeavored to reform the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church by means of the writings of the prisca theologia, which they believed was reflected in Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, and the Chaldean Oracles, among other sources. The Enlightenment tended to view all religion as cultural variations on a common anthropological theme; however, the Enlightenment, which tended to deny the validity of any form of revealed religion, held in very little esteem the idea of a prisca theologia.
The doctrine (if it may be called that) of a prisca theologia is held by, among others, Rosicrucianism.
Prisca theologia is distinguishable from the related concept of the so-called perennial philosophy, although some inadvertently use the two terms interchangeably. An essential difference is that the prisca theologia is understood as existing in pure form.