Quispel sees Gnosticism as an independent Jewish development, tracing its origins to Alexandrian Jews, to which group Valentinus was also connected. Jewish Gnosticism with a focus on Sophia was active by 90 AD. X. X- Gospel According to the Egyptians (Naaseni)-----X-- Gospel of Thomas (Gnostic)-----X-- Harpocratians----- X- Heracleon----X .  The Naassenes, Cainites, and Valentinians referred to Paul's epistles. Islam also integrated traces of an entity given authority over the lower world in some early writings: Iblis is regarded by some Sufis as the owner of this world, and humans must avoid the treasures of this world, since they would belong to him.  The aeons as a totality constitute the pleroma, the "region of light". , Sophia, emanating without her partner, resulted in the production of the Demiurge (Greek: lit. [note 25], According to Bentley Layton "Classical Gnosticism" and "The School of Thomas" antedated and influenced the development of Valentinus, whom Layton called "the great [Gnostic] reformer" and "the focal point" of Gnostic development.  These various groups emphasised personal spiritual knowledge (gnosis) over the orthodox teachings, traditions, and authority of the church. Gnostic would be an adjective for them. "Nag Hammadi and the New Testament". The school was popular, spreading to Northwest Africa and Egypt, and through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east, and Valentinus is specifically named as gnostikos by Irenaeus. J. M. Robinson, "Sethians and Johannine Thought: The Trimorphic Protennoia and the Prologue of the Gospel of John" in, The idea that Gnosticism was derived from Buddhism was first proposed by the Victorian gem collector and numismatist.  The numbers of these pairings varied from text to text, though some identify their number as being thirty. Prior to the discovery at Nag Hammadi, a limited number of texts were available to students of Gnosticism. Matter itself, to the Gnostic, was necessarily and intrinsically evil, it was a bad thing and the source of all evil.  Gnostics and proto-orthodox Christians shared some terminology.  The study of Gnosticism and of early Alexandrian Christianity received a strong impetus from the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library in 1945. Gnosticism (pronounced NOS tuh siz um) was a second-century religious movement claiming that salvation could be gained through a special form of secret knowledge. , Some scholars prefer to speak of "gnosis" when referring to first-century ideas that later developed into Gnosticism, and to reserve the term "Gnosticism" for the synthesis of these ideas into a coherent movement in the second century. St. Jerome states that the Priscillianists were infected with it. [note 32], Prior to the discovery of Nag Hammadi, the Gnostic movements were largely perceived through the lens of the early church heresiologists.  Hermeticism is also a western Gnostic tradition, though it differs in some respects from these other groups. The 6 Core Beliefs Of Modern Gnosticism. The various emanations of God are called æons.  According to Helmut Koester, this is because the Thomas-sayings are older, implying that in the earliest forms of Christianity Jesus was regarded as a wisdom-teacher. [note 11] The term Gnosticism was derived from the use of the Greek adjective gnostikos (Greek γνωστικός, "learned", "intellectual") by St. Irenaeus (c. 185 AD) to describe the school of Valentinus as he legomene gnostike haeresis "the heresy called Learned (gnostic). In the early years of the Arab conquest, Manicheanism again found followers in Persia (mostly amongst educated circles), but flourished most in Central Asia, to which it had spread through Iran.  A great number of translations have been published, and the works of Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, especially The Gnostic Gospels, which detailed the suppression of some of the writings found at Nag Hammadi by early bishops of the Christian church, has popularized Gnosticism in mainstream culture,[web 3][web 4] but also incited strong responses and condemnations from clergical writers.  Celia Green has written on Gnostic Christianity in relation to her own philosophy.  According to Temporini, Vogt, and Haase, early Sethians may be identical to or related to the Nazarenes (sect), the Ophites, or the sectarian group called heretics by Philo. The heavenly pleroma is the center of divine life, a region of light "above" (the term is not to be understood spatially) our world, occupied by spiritual beings such as aeons (eternal beings) and sometimes archons. In a religious context, gnosis is mystical or esoteric knowledge based on direct participation with the divine. Jon Ma. Although Gnosticism thus rests on personal religious experience, it is a mistake to assume all such experience results in Gnostic recognitions. Proponents of the view that Paul was actually a gnostic, such as Elaine Pagels, view the reference in Colossians as a term that has to be interpreted in a gnostic sense.  Valentinians treat physical reality with less contempt than other Gnostic groups, and conceive of materiality not as a separate substance from the divine, but as attributable to an error of perception which becomes symbolized mythopoetically as the act of material creation. The original writings were written in Syriac Aramaic, in a unique Manichaean script. , Early 20th-century thinkers who heavily studied and were influenced by Gnosticism include Carl Jung (who supported Gnosticism), Eric Voegelin (who opposed it), Jorge Luis Borges (who included it in many of his short stories), and Aleister Crowley, with figures such as Hermann Hesse being more moderately influenced. Gnosticism encompasses a very wide range of beliefs and is better viewed as a collection of religions sharing some common themes rather than as one specific religion. Modern-Day Gnosticism. , Hans Jonas (1903–1993) took an existential phenomenological approach to Gnosticism. In qualified monism the second entity may be divine or semi-divine. In other words, Gnostics celebrated sexuality and traditional Christians were puritanical prudes.  Recent research into the origins of Gnosticism shows a strong Jewish influence, particularly from Hekhalot literature.  Both schools attempted "an effort towards conciliation, even affiliation" with late antique philosophy, and were rebuffed by some Neoplatonists, including Plotinus. There are two basic components to beliefs commonly labeled as Gnostic, although the importance of one over the other can vary immensely. The similarities probably point to a relationship between gnostic ideas and the Johannine community. Restricting Gnosticism, "identifying which groups were explicitly called gnostics", Deconstructing Gnosticism, abandoning the category of "Gnosticism", This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 14:51. 1929) has analyzed and criticised the Iranian hypothesis of Reitzenstein, showing that many of his hypotheses are untenable. The Basilidians or Basilideans were founded by Basilides of Alexandria in the second century. Gnosticism encompasses a very wide range of beliefs and is better viewed as a collection of religions sharing some common themes rather than as one specific religion. Early research into the origins of Gnosticism proposed Persian origins or influences, spreading to Europe and incorporating Jewish elements.  A similar suggestion has been made by Edward Conze, who suggested that the similarities between prajñā and sophia may be due to "the actual modalities of the human mind", which in certain conditions result in similar experiences. A major question in scholarly research is the qualification of Gnosticism as either an interreligious phenomenon or as an independent religion. Gnosticism, any of various related philosophical and religious movements prominent in the Greco-Roman world in the early Christian era, particularly the 2nd century.. ", Rise of the Evangelical Church in Latin America, Beliefs condemned as heretical by the Catholic Church, Relationship between religion and science, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gnosticism&oldid=996424225, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles that may contain original research from November 2019, All articles that may contain original research, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2019, Articles needing additional references from July 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2020, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from November 2010, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from October 2019, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, psychic – "soulful", partially initiated. Valentinian Gnosticism may have been monistic rather than dualistic.  Such Gnostic anthropogenic can be found frequently among Isma'ili traditions. 1874.  J. Horn and Ernest Anton Lewald proposed Persian and Zoroastrian origins, while Jacques Matter described Gnosticism as an intrusion of eastern cosmological and theosophical speculation into Christianity. The flower is above the polluted swamps, rather than feeding from it, it waits for the clean, pure rain. , According to Kurt Rudolph, the decline of Manichaeism that occurred in Persia in the 5th century was too late to prevent the spread of the movement into the east and the west.  Irenaeus (died c. 202) wrote Against Heresies (c. 180–185), which identifies Simon Magus from Flavia Neapolis in Samaria as the inceptor of Gnosticism. , The Thomasine Traditions refers to a group of texts which are attributed to the apostle Thomas. The Sethian hidden transcendent God is, by contrast, defined through negative theology: he is immovable, invisible, intangible, ineffable; commonly, "he" is seen as being hermaphroditic, a potent symbol for being, as it were, "all-containing".  The cosmogonic speculations among Christian Gnostics had partial origins in Maaseh Bereshit and Maaseh Merkabah. , According to Walter Bauer, "heresies" may well have been the original form of Christianity in many regions. , According to Karen King, scholars have "unwittingly continued the project of ancient heresiologists", searching for non-Christian influences, thereby continuing to portray a pure, original Christianity. "The Modern Relevance of Gnosticism" in The Nag Hammadi Library, 1990, sfn error: no target: CITEREFFrekeGandy2005 (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, On the Detection and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called, Hymn of Jude Thomas the Apostle in the Country of Indians, The Book of Thomas: The Contender Writing to the Perfect, "The Pair (Syzygy) in Valentinian Thought", "The Gnostic World View: A Brief Summary of Gnosticism", "Jesus′ Origin and Identity – Theodotus [of Byzantium]", "The Jesus Puzzle: Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins", "Dualism Religion – Definition – Dualistic Cosmology – Christianity", Iraqi minority group needs U.S. attention, "Symphony of Gnosis: A Self-Definition of the Ismaili Ginan Literature", Lessons from the Kabbalah and Jewish history By Josef Blaha, Jewish mysticism: an introduction By J. H. Laenen, "Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism", Contact Made Vision: The Apocryphal Whitehead, "Fall 2014 Christianity Seminar Report on Gnosticism", "Gnosticism Theorized: Major Trends and Approaches to the Study of Gnosticism". According to Williams the term needs replacing to more accurately reflect those movements it comprises, and suggests to replace it with the term "the Biblical demiurgical tradition". The Three Types of Individuals Hylic.  Sethianism attributed its gnosis to Seth, third son of Adam and Eve and Norea, wife of Noah, who also plays a role in Mandeanism and Manicheanism. Mandaeanism is still practiced in small numbers, in parts of southern Iraq and the Iranian province of Khuzestan, and there are thought to be between 60,000 and 70,000 Mandaeans worldwide.. Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism includes Sethianism, Valentinianism, Basilideans, Thomasine traditions, and Serpent Gnostics, as well as a number of other minor groups and writers. Returning in 242, he joined the court of Shapur I, to whom he dedicated his only work written in Persian, known as the Shabuhragan. Jonas compares this alienation with the existentialist notion of geworfenheit, Martin Heidegger's "thrownness," as in being thrown into a hostile world. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (AD). Prior to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 Gnosticism was known primarily through the works of heresiologists, Church Fathers who opposed those movements.  Though Gnosticism had various forms one of the most pernicious—and one that is still present today—is Docetism. Both are mythological structures which seek to explain the problem of evil in terms of its relationship to the process of creation.  Hans Heinrich Schaeder (1896–1957) and Hans Leisegang saw Gnosticism as an amalgam of eastern thought in a Greek form.  One offshoot was in turn headed by Dositheus, Simon Magus, and Menander. Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnōstikós, Koine Greek: [ɡˠno̞s.tiˈkos], "having knowledge") is a collection of ancient religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. Scholars have identified many strands prevalent in the first century that were synthesized within Gnosticism, including Egyptian religion, Judaism, Christianity, astrology, and Greek philosophy. Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism.  Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight.  In the late third century, Sethianism was attacked by neo-Platonists like Plotinus, and Sethianism became alienated from Platonism. One of the most impactful releases in Gnostic studies in years is the recent The Gnostic New Age by April DeConick. Thomas? Sethianism was one of the main currents of Gnosticism during the 2nd to 3rd centuries, and the prototype of Gnosticism as condemned by Irenaeus. The Quran, like Gnostic cosmology, makes a sharp distinction between this world and the afterlife. , According to Michael Allen Williams, the concept of Gnosticism as a distinct religious tradition is questionable, since "gnosoi" was a pervasive characteristics of many religious traditions in antiquity, and not restricted to the so-called Gnostic systems. New content will be added above the current area of focus upon selection Persian Gnosticism possesses more dualist tendencies, reflecting a strong influence from the beliefs of the Persian Zurvanist Zoroastrians. Wilson, R. McL. 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