Inner Christianity is the first introduction to mystical and esoteric Christianity for the general reader. It speaks from a nonsectarian point of view, unearthing insights from the whole of the Christian tradition, orthodox and heretical, famous and obscure. The esoteric tradition has traditionally searched for meanings that would yield a deeper inner knowledge of the divine. While traditional Christianity draws a timeline from Adam's Fall to the Day of Judgment, the esoteric often sees time as folding in on itself, bringing every point to the here and now. While the Church fought bitterly over dogma, the esoteric borrowed freely from other traditions—Kabbalah, astrology, and alchemy—in their search for metaphors of inner truth.
Rather than basing his book around exponents of esoteric doctrine, scholar Richard Smoley concentrates on the questions that are of interest to every searching Christian. How can one attain direct spiritual experience? What does "the Fall" really tell us about coming to terms with the world we live in? Can we find salvation in everyday life? How can we ascend, spiritually, through the various levels of existence? What was Christ's true message to humankind? From the Gospel of Thomas to A Course in Miracles, from the Jesus Prayer to alchemy and Tarot, from Origen to Dante to Jung, Richard Smoley sheds the light of an alternative Christianity on these issues and more.