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11499Re: Dr. Ehrman... worth $59.95?

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  • Gerry
    Sep 22, 2005
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
      > Oh,my. What have I done? ;) I read some of this:
      > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10820
      > My favorite line:
      > >Sweeeeeet Pleroma——talk about conflicting reports!<
      > Really, though, a fair and helpful critique. Perhaps you might
      > to delete these posts of mine before we set him off again....;)
      > jana

      Now, Jana, why on earth would you not want to see me set off again?

      I've had my own share of trouble accessing archives lately, not to
      mention ongoing difficulty utilizing the Search feature ever since
      Yahoo's last major overhaul, but if memory serves, you didn't miss
      much in those initial posts on the subject (toward the end of 2003).

      If I recall correctly, the whole thing started as a means of
      demonstrating how one might apply some critical thinking to the
      various books we might encounter on the subject of Gnosticism. After
      all, if we don't wish to be swayed by the bias of a given author, we
      would do well to recognize it from the start. I believe that Pagels
      and Ehrman were the first names to come up in a discussion of how
      authors often target multiple audiences with differnt works, and
      since we hadn't really dealt with *him* previously (and because we
      shared the UNC connection), I decided to run with it.

      In truth, as you are well aware, I have tried to inject my posts on
      this subject with a certain degree of humor. Having made that
      admission, however, I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that
      I haven't been genuinely concerned by things I have either read or
      heard in person. If this were a group on Early Christianity, we
      would likely have some of his books listed as recommended reading,
      but since our focus and his area of specialization differ, then I
      would refer someone to his works only if I were confident that the
      context would be kept in mind. FWIW, I have yet to hear anyone
      express dissatisfaction with any titles from the video series, but
      again, they were looking at them for the broader subject matter that
      the tapes were designed to convey.

      Indeed, Ehrman is a charming and engaging speaker, and certainly a
      prolific and accessible writer, but I can't help but worry at how
      Gnosticism will be percieved by the public if the professor's works
      persist in having such popular appeal among the pistic masses, even
      among those who may have at least begun to question their religion.
      After all, as we have said so often in the past, becoming disgruntled
      with the traditional Church and learning that there is much more to
      the history of Christianity than most of us were ever taught are,
      quite simply, NOT synonymous with Gnosticism.

      Similarly, have I even commented here yet how surprised I was to see
      an entire shelf dedicated to "Gnosis" on my last visits to Barnes &
      Noble? At first it wasn't even so much a "surprise" since we have
      all seen this day coming, but it *was*, at least, a pleasant
      observation. That soon gave way to the normal apprehension I might
      have felt if I had been led by my usual, cynical nature. As I
      started reading the titles of the books gathered there, I'm sure I
      must have started visibly shaking my head in disbelief. If such is
      what will characterize Gnosticism in the public mind, then Gnostic
      texts and groups may well continue to be demonized, misunderstood, or
      otherwise (fittingly) swept back under the sands of time.

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