- Oct 1, 2003Hello Magnum... let me jump in on this one.
As a scientific minded person, I am betting you will find the club's
definition of the term "Gnosticism" to be quite concice. It is true
that there are a lot of definitions floating around out there, but
few of them have much to do with academic usages.... this club uses a
slightly softened version of the Messina colloquium's springboard.
Gnosticism being one of a number of late antiquities groups who's
cosmogeny (emanationist/biblical demiurgy), anthropogeny (with the
entrapment of the spirit), and soteriology (internal recognition of
the connection to the "Bythos" or apophatic source) are related, as
well as thier cultural/philosophical backdrop (neoplatonism in the
semitic or biblical syncratic venue)
In this club then, when we say "Gnosticism" we are talking about a
number of historical sects from the late antiquities, but we do
extend that also (for the sake of the club's purpose) to the modern
Neognostics who feel themselves drawn by these traditional "Gnostics".
I would point out that it is generally scholastic concensus that the
Cathars are not Gnostic because thier soteriology is divergent (which
is the same reason many academicians also now exclude Manichaeans and
Marcionism, etc..). I know there are modern writers who repeat the
equation still with the Cathars (such as T. Churton recently in his
companion to the BPS series on Gnosticism, and the medievalist that
magusadeptus recently mentioned, William Eamon, niether of which are
specialists in the field), but most of them are simply not up to date
on the critical evaluation of the movement.
--- In email@example.com, Mangum Murdock
> Hi all,definition of Gnosticism probably based on the multitude of
> It appears that we have a slightly different opinion on the
historians/writers who define these various religious sects. I am a
science oriented person so in order to gain information from you
folks I need to know the most simplist definition of Gnosticism you
have. The following is mine subject to change....
>the knowledge of God"
> "the personal revelation that leads the soul to perfection through
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