Anthony Duncan (1930-2003), the son of a Scots father and an English mother, was schooled for accountancy but soon discovered a dislike for office work. He joined the army and served in Germany and the Far East until resigning his commission as a thirty year old captain in order to follow his spiritual calling. Upon his return to civilian life he entered Chichester Theological College and was ordained into the Anglican church, first serving as a curate and later as parish priest to five parishes in both Gloucestershire and Northumberland. During that time he was also made an honorary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral. He retired from his priestly duties in 1995.
Father Duncan’s life as a writer began during his stay in the Far East, where he was deeply influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion. These fascinations, in conjunction with his theological training, became the basis for many books of both spiritual and historical import. His titles include The Tao of Christ: A Christian’s Reading of the Daodejing of Laozi, The Way of Transcendence: The Mystery we call God, Temple of the Spirit, Celtic Christianity. The Sword in the Sun: Dialogue with an Angel, A Little Book of Celtic Prayer, Mind of Christ, and his most well known work – Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic. His output also included two collections of poetry and the soon to be reissued novel, Faversham’s Dream.
An unlikely friendship materialized between Father Duncan and esoteric teacher and author, Gareth Knight, while both were living in Tewkesbury, which blossomed into an amazing and fruitful correspondence over the years. Their intellectual sharing of ideas led to Duncan’s Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic and Knight’s Experience of Inner Worlds, which have become companion texts of Christian mysticism often read and taught together. This remarkable friendship and influence is outlined in a chapter called “Lord of the Dance” in Gareth Knight’s new esoteric autobiography, I called it Magic: “Then he launched into a deeply considered critique, based on reading it in light of being a mystic as well as a natural psychic, and a theologically trained one at that who was also familiar with eastern spirituality. This raised philosophical and theological issues of which I had until then been blissfully unaware, and I realized that he had raised some fundamental questions that could not be ignored.”
Father Anthony Duncan was sadly lost to the world in 2003 but his work remains poignant in a time of swirling spiritual fervour and comparative religion. Skylight Press is proud to reissue his impactful novel, Faversham’s Dream, a powerful work that explores the historical and spiritual duel between traditionalists and upstarts.