Rethinking "Gnosticism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category

Rethinking "Gnosticism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category


Most an individual attracted to such issues as production mythology, Jungian concept, or the assumption of "secret teachings" in historic Judaism and Christianity has came upon "gnosticism" compelling. but the time period "gnosticism," which frequently connotes a unmarried rebellious circulate opposed to the present religions of overdue antiquity, supplies the misunderstanding of a monolithic spiritual phenomenon. right here Michael Williams demanding situations the validity of the commonly invoked classification of historic "gnosticism" and the methods it's been defined. providing such recognized writings and pursuits because the Apocryphon of John and Valentinian Christianity, Williams uncovers the similarities and transformations between a few significant traditions largely categorised as gnostic. He offers an eloquent, systematic argument for a extra exact option to talk about those interpretive approaches.

The glossy build "gnosticism" isn't really justified through any old self-definition, and plenty of of the main usually stated non secular beneficial properties that supposedly outline gnosticism phenomenologically turn into questionable. Exploring the pattern units of "gnostic" teachings, Williams refutes generalizations pertaining to asceticism and libertinism, attitudes towards the physique and the created global, and alleged gains of protest, parasitism, and elitism. He sketches a clean version for realizing old thoughts on extra "mainstream" Judaism and Christianity, a version that's proficient through smooth learn on dynamics in new non secular pursuits and is free of the fake stereotypes from which the class "gnosticism" has been constructed.

Show sample text content

Download sample