In the late 1960s and early 1970s, small groups of students at Oxford University fused influences from the Traditionalist school (particularly the writings of René Guénon and Ananda Coomaraswamy) with diverse aspects of second wave feminist thought, British lesbian culture, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic devotionalism, and ritual elements drawn from emergent Paganism. The result was an all-encompassing spiritual philosophy grounded in the sophia perennis, yet utterly unique in its approach to matters of thealogy, gender theory, and social criticism, which coalesced initially into a religious order called Lux Madriana, active for ten years between 1973 and circa 1983. This, in turn, gave rise to a successor order called Rosa Madriana, which persisted until c. 2008, as well as the self-described "Aristasian experiment" in intentional living, which flourished from the mid-1980s into the mid-2000s, when it transformed into the contemporary organization known as the Daughters of Shining Harmony (or, Chelouranya). During the 1980s, there was also a short-lived sister experiment called "Romantia". Efforts by the Aristasians to bring this tradition, which had come to be known as "Filianism", online in the late 1990s inspired an independent house church movement which is active and growing today.
Filianic Studies is the emergent academic discipline of study covering the history, sociology, and thealogy of Filianism as a New Religious Movement, including points of contact with the fields of Women's Studies, LGB Studies, Pagan Studies, theology, the history of Western occultism, and Roman Catholic church history.
Groups affiliated in some fashion with Filianism have appeared periodically in the British press and on British television over the years, and their contemporary Internet presence reaches tens of thousands of viewers each month at their main websites. Nonetheless, Filianism has received very little attention in scholarship on New Religious Movements, women's spirituality, and other related disciplines. This owes in part to the general inaccessibility of most primary sources for the study of the movement, the great majority of which have never been digitized and are held in diverse locations across Britain, the United States, and other countries, primarily by private individuals. The born-digital documents produced by the Aristasians and others in the 1990s and 2000s are now commonly buried in Internet archives or hosted at obscure mirror sites. Most are also in fragmented condition or archaic formats that significantly impede the ability to access and search them efficiently.
In order to facilitate research, both on the part of academics and on the part of members of the Filianic community itself, the Digital Library for Filianic Studies was created to collect and display these key sources.
The archive is still in a very preliminary state and most of its holdings are more or less raw scans of original documents. Work is ongoing to more extensively tag and index these documents, as well as to transcribe them with full text encoding. Where this has been (partially) accomplished, the collection is amenable to keyword search (located at the top of the page), as well as searches by various Dublin Core metadata fields. Documents are also tagged for easier reference to key subjects and grouped into collections by their source, enabling focus on more particular movements or organizations connected with Filianism.
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There is always plenty to do! One of the biggest needs is for transcription of document scans. Please contact the archivist to find out how you can help build the archive.
No copyright is claimed over any of the materials contained in the archive. Most items appear to be under orphan copyrights and are reproduced here under fair use/fair dealing provisions (where applicable), in the belief that this is consistent with the intention and desires of all likely authors. Where a particular work is known to fall under a currently exercised copyright, it is included pursuant to a permission from the author or else the archive links to an external source where the author has chosen to make the material available. If you are a copyright holder of a work collected here and do not wish that work to appear in the archive, please contact the archivist.