Temple Gallery

Established 1959

and the Mystical Origins of Christianity


by Richard Temple

Unique, and certainly outdoes the regular work on symbolism and Christianity. Temple's style is fresh, communicative and unforced. Some of his statements should be lettered six miles high

Republished in 2001 by Luzac, this searching work uses the imagery of icons and the basis for an exploration of the true mystic source of the Christian faith.
Richard Temple points out that icons themselves are essentially mystical at heart, for they are the key to an underground stream of knowledge aimed at the civilisation of the whole person - body, soul and spirit – which developed from Platonic thought, the school of Alexandria and the Orphic mysteries.
Icons and the Mystical Origins of Christianity finds evidence for this universal knowledge in the writings of pre-Christian and very early Christian philosophy, and shows how the imagery and composition of icons provide a graphic record of this tradition. As the author discusses the meaning of the icons depicted in this volume, the richness and profundity of a lost tradition is gradually and hauntingly revealed.

Click here to see a review on, where the book received a five star customer rating

Intelligently presented and thought-provoking. Temple's ideas deserve the attention of anyone who ponders the meaning of icons.


In his exciting book Richard Temple opens a new world to people brought up in Western Christianity.


Explores the richly symbolic realm of icons in order to reveal Christianity's mystical origins. An archetypal wisdom stems from the very depths of human consciousness. Icons, in their deepest significance, convey the highest cosmological, philosophical and theological ideas.


The definitive English work on the esoteric aspect of icons.


A graphic record of the mystical tradition.


A courageous book giving us an invaluable lesson that can be applied to all the great traditions for whom art and the sacred have always been joined.


ISBN: 1-898942-20-X

Price £14.99.

This book is currently out of print. It may still be available from some booksellers but the The Temple Gallery does not have any further copies for sale.