Centuries after their brutal slaughter by the northern French forces and their suppression by the inquisition, the Cathars continue to exert a powerful influence on both popular culture and spiritual seekers. But what did they really believe and practise?Tourists flock to the Languedoc to visit 'Cathar Country', yet few people know anything of the beliefs of the Cathars beyond vague notions that they believed in reincarnation, were vegetarians, were somehow Gnostic, and has some relation to Mary Magdalene. The Lost Teachings of the Cathars explores the history of this Christian dualist movement between the 12th and 14th centuries, offering a sympathetic yet critical examination of its beliefs and practices.
Andrew Phillip Smith is the author of several books and articles on Gnosticism, early Christianity and esoterica. His books include A Dictionary of Gnosticism, The Gnostics: History Tradition Scriptures Influence, The Lost Sayings of Jesus: Annotated & Explained, Gnostic Writings on the Soul: Annotated & Explained, and The Gospel of Philip: Annotated & Explained. He is also editor of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality, for which he has interviewed or included articles by people such as Alan Moore, Colin Wilson, Patrick Harpur, Sean Martin, and Stephan Hoeller. He writes occasionally for Fortean Times. His small press imprint, Bardic Press, publishes niche-interest new and classic works on Gnosticism, Gurdjieff, Celtic myth and Sufi poetry.