A human being captured by his animal desires, mistakenly claims autonomy and independence from the "higher God", thus resembling the lower deity in classical gnostic traditions. Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system. While some scholars in the middle of the 20th century tried to assume an influence between the Cathar "gnostics" and the origins of the Kabbalah, this assumption has proved to be an incorrect generalization not substantiated by any original texts.
Kabbalah does not employ the terminology or labels of non-Jewish Gnosticism, but grounds the same or similar concepts in the language of the Torah the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The Mandaeans are an ancient Gnostic sect that have survived to this day and are found today in Iraq. A number of 19th-century thinkers such as Arthur Schopenhauer ,  Albert Pike and Madame Blavatsky studied Gnostic thought extensively and were influenced by it, and even figures like Herman Melville and W.
Yeats were more tangentially influenced. 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. Alfred North Whitehead was aware of the existence of the newly discovered Gnostic scrolls. Accordingly, Michel Weber has proposed a Gnostic interpretation of his late metaphysics. Prior to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in Gnosticism was known primarily through the works of heresiologists , Church Fathers who opposed those movements.
These writings had an antagonistic bias towards gnostic teachings, and were incomplete. Several heresiological writers, such as Hippolytus, made little effort to exactly record the nature of the sects they reported on, or transcribe their sacred texts. Reconstructions of incomplete Gnostic texts were attempted in modern times, but research on Gnosticism was coloured by the orthodox views of those heresiologists.
Since this time, both Simon and Menander have been considered as 'proto-Gnostic'. From Samaria he charted an apparent spread of the teachings of Simon through the ancient "knowers" into the teachings of Valentinus and other, contemporary Gnostic sects. It also focuses on the connection between pre-Socratic and therefore Pre-Incantation of Christ ideas and the false beliefs of early gnostic heretical leaders. Thirty-three of the groups he reported on are considered Gnostic by modern scholars, including 'the foreigners' and 'the Seth people'.
Prior to the discovery at Nag Hammadi, a limited number of texts were available to students of Gnosticism. Reconstructions were attempted from the records of the heresiologists, but these were necessarily coloured by the motivation behind the source accounts. Twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local farmer named Muhammed al-Samman.
These codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of A 1st- or 2nd-century date of composition for the lost Greek originals has been proposed, though this is disputed; the manuscripts themselves date from the 3rd and 4th centuries.
The Nag Hammadi texts demonstrated the fluidity of early Christian scripture and early Christianity itself. Prior to the discovery of Nag Hammadi, the Gnostic movements were largely perceived through the lens of the early church heresiologists. Johann Lorenz von Mosheim — proposed that Gnosticism developed on its own in Greece and Mesopotamia, spreading to the west and incorporating Jewish elements. According to Mosheim, Jewish thought took Gnostic elements and used them against Greek philosophy.
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. In the s Gnosticism was placed within Greek philosophy, especially neo-Platonism. The Religionsgeschichtliche Schule "history of religions school", 19th century had a profound influence on the study of Gnosticism.
Hans Jonas — took an intermediate approach, using both the comparative approach of the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule and the existentialist hermeneutics of Bultmann.
Jonas emphasized the duality between God and the world, and concluded that Gnosticism cannot be derived from Platonism. Contemporary scholarship largely agrees that Gnosticism has Jewish or Judeo-Christian origins;  this theses is most notably put forward by Gershom G. Scholem — and Gilles Quispel — The study of Gnosticism and of early Alexandrian Christianity received a strong impetus from the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library in According to Matthew J. Dillon, six trends can be discerned in the definitions of Gnosticism: The Messina conference on the origins of gnosis and Gnosticism proposed to designate.
This definition has now been abandoned. According to Dillon, the texts from Nag Hammadi made clear that this definition was limited, and that they are "better classified by movements such as Valentinian , mythological similarity Sethian , or similar tropes presence of a Demiurge.
Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism. Persian Gnosticism possesses more dualist tendencies, reflecting a strong influence from the beliefs of the Persian Zurvanist Zoroastrians. The medieaval the Cathars, Bogomils, and Carpocratians seem to include elements of both categories. This "Christian Gnosticism" was Christocentric, and influenced by Christian writings such as the Gospel of John and the Pauline epistles.
The best known example of this approach is Adolf von Harnack — , who stated that "Gnosticism is the acute Hellenization of Christianity. Hans Jonas — took an existential phenomenological approach to Gnosticism. According to Jonas, alienation is a distinguishing characteristics of Gnosticism, making it different from contemporary religions.
Jonas compares this alienation with the existentialist notion of geworfenheit , being thrown into a hostile world. In the late s scholars voiced concerns about the broadness of "Gnosticism" as a meaningful category. Bentley Layton proposed to category Gnosticism by delineating which groups were marked as gnostic in ancient texts. According to Layton, this term was mainly applied by heresiologists to the myth described in the Apocryphon of John , and was used mainly by the Sethians and the Ophites. According to Layton, texts which refer to this myth can be called "classical Gnostic".
In addition, Alastair Logan uses social theory to identify Gnosticism. He uses Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge's sociological theory on traditional religion, sects and cults. According to Logan, the Gnostics were a cult, at odds with the society at large.
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. 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". 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.
Carl Jung approached Gnosticism from a psychological perspective, which was followed by Gilles Quispel. According to this approach, Gnosticism is a map for the human development, in which an undivided person, centered on the Self , develops out of the fragmentary personhood of young age. According to Quispel, gnosis is a third force in western culture, alongside faith and reason, which offers an experiential awareness of this Self.
According to Ioan Culianu , gnosis is made possible through universal operations of the mind, which can be arrived at "anytime, anywhere". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Agnosticism. Part of a series on Gnosticism. Buddhist modernism New religious movement " Spiritual but not religious " Syncretism.
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Gnostic texts and Nag Hammadi library. Indeed, it appears increasingly evident that many of the newly published Gnostic texts were written in a context from which Jews were not absent. In some cases, indeed, a violent rejection of the Jewish God, or of Judaism, seems to stand at the basis of these texts. Robinson, "Sethians and Johannine Thought: Brill, , p. The gnostic demiurge bears resemblance to figures in Plato's Timaeus and Republic.
In The Republic the description of the leontomorphic "desire" in Socrates ' model of the psyche bears a resemblance to descriptions of the demiurge as being in the shape of the lion. In time, the gospel-narrative of this embodiment of Wisdom became interpreted as the literal history of the life of Jesus. This of itself shows that it is a mistake to reckon Marcion among the Gnostics.
A dualist he certainly was, but he was not a Gnostic". Irenaeus of Lyons Against the heresies, Vol. The origins of anti-semitism: Texts and Commentaries by Steven Bayme Publisher: New Perspectives , Yale University Press , , p. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Five Images of Christ in the Postapostolic Age. The most prominent example of Angel Adoptionism from the early Church would have to be the document known as The Shepherd of Hermass.
In The Shepherd, the savior is an angel called the "angel of justification", who seems to be identified with the archangel Michael. Although the angel is often understood to be Jesus, he is never named as Jesus. The Harvard Theological Review. Mead and the Gnostic Quest p8. He was one of the earliest and most emphatic scholars to propose the Gnostic debt to Buddhist thought. Platonism, the Persian religion, and the Buddhism of India.
The Gnostic Society Library. Retrieved September 29, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. A Brief Summary of Gnosticism". Retrieved 15 May Occidental Mythology , page Retrieved 13 February Jesus, Gnosis and Dogma. The Saviour, jesus Christ, who from the fullness the pleroma of the Father descended on earth, is identified with the Logos, but initially not entirely with the Only Begotten Son.
Handbook of Classical and Modern Mandaic. Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins". Journal of Higher Criticism. The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. New York City, New York: Hoeller, On the Trail of the Winged God. Heracleon's Commentary on John. An Introduction , The School of Valentinus , ed. A History of Christian Thought, Vol. The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. The Nature and History of Gnosticism". A New New Testament: Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Advice to Clever Children. The Apocryphal Whitehead Pub. Robinson , The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: Albrile, Ezio , "Gnosticism: Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Volume 5, Issue 2, Autumn , Pages — , 5 2: A History of Gnosticism. Was Jezus oorspronkelijk een heidense god? Economic and Social Origins of Gnosticism. Huidekoper, Frederic , Judaism at Rome: King, Charles William The Gnostics and Their Remains. Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Texts from Central Asia.
Geschichte der Gnosis in Antike, Urchristentum und Islam. Verlag Christoph Brunner, Basel Michael White ; O. The Social World of the First Christians: Essays in Honor of Wayne A. The Rediscovery of Gnosticism: Magris, Aldo , "Gnosticism: Translated by John Bowden. Markschies, Christolph , Gnosis: An Introduction , T.
Pagels, Elaine , The Gnostic Paul: The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis. Nag Hammadi and the Gospel Tradition: Synoptic Tradition in the Nag Hammadi Library. Its History and Influence. Williams, Michael , Rethinking Gnosticism: A Survey of the Proposed Evidences. Retrieved March 8, What would Christianity be like if gnostic texts had made it into the Bible?
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Part of a series on. Traditional Christian Catholic Mysticism. Authorities feared that the anonymity afforded by these could hide or encourage inappropriate behavior. Rather, if covered at all, the prostitute would have been recognized as such by the color of or marking on her veil. This is not to say that prostitutes did not at various times or places wear veils, but they were certainly not alone in this. We have observed how a number of ancient translators and later commentators puzzled over the events of While their answers to these questions differed, it is significant that in all but one case Ramban , they avoided linking the veil to her guise as a prostitute.
This interpretive tendency accords well with our conclusions regarding the veil and prostitution. In other words, the veil of Tamar concealed more than it revealed. Van Gorcum, ] Eerdmans, , ; Douglas R. Social, Anthropological, and Political Perspectives , ed. Cambridge University Press, , , esp. Fortress, , ; Jan P. Van Gorcum and Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, , , esp.
Doubleday, , ; and Michael V. Fox, Proverbs AB 18A: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel Minneapolis: Fortress, ,, esp. Macmillan, , , n. Social Institutions New York: Brill, , Scholars Press, , Journal of Women in Culture and Society Pedersen was aware of the Assyrian evidence, but dismissed its relevance for the biblical text: Geoffrey Cumberlege and Copenhagen: Branner og Korch, , Deichertsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, ], , Herder, , The expansion in v.
But by inserting the statement at this point in v. The History of its Interpretation, Volume I: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages Until , ed. For a different estimation of the value of the Greek Genesis, see Ronald S.
Oxford University Press, , esp. As for location in For the problematic Ennaim, see J.
Bar Ilan University, ] Hebrew Union College, 1: The Liturgical Press, , For the text, see E. Clarke, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan of the Pentateuch: Text and Concordance Hoboken, NJ: KTAV, , Judaica Press, , In justifying his exclusion of the targum from his dictionary, Sokoloff comments: Cook, Rewriting the Bible: Note the variant rendering in the fragment targums MS Vatican Ebr.
She illustrates this phenomenon by way of two case studies focusing on Gen. Wahrmann Books, , 1. Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg Oxford: Studies in Religion, Politics and Patriarchy , eds. Jaroslav Pelikan; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, , Luther also compares the veil of Genesis to the student hoods of his day and to Turkish custom, knowledge of which he has obtained second hand from travelers there Banner of Truth Trust, , Esposito New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, , 2: Alpine Fine Arts Collection, , pls.
Law and Human Relations in the West , ed.
Silences of the Middle Ages , ed. Harvard University Press, , University of California Press, , esp. Writing, Reasoning, and the Gods trans. Kegan Paul International, , ; also general remarks in Christopher J. Nagler, Spontaneity and Tradition: Winkler, and Froma I. Princeton University Press, , , esp. Image and Text , eds. Elaine Fantham et al. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, , , fig.
Tom Rasmussen and Nigel Spivey Cambridge: Kegan Paul International, , Compare in this regard the talmudic story of two rabbis R. Hanina and Oshaia in Israel who lived and worked as cobblers in an area of town populated by prostitutes Bab. The story extols their virtue at not allowing themselves to be tempted by the women.