Re: Clement & Origin say they are gnostics?
>>>I think there would be some who argue about certain sentencesregarding whether the word "knowledge/gnosis" is being used
in the ordinary sense or in the gnostic sense. But I won't
go there. It's too fuzzy for my liking.<<<
Then you admit that the historical Gnostics had a special meaning of
the word that is not the same as the regular Greek, right? If so we
are agreed. In fact, part of my point is that NONE of Clement's
usages of the word "gnosis" is in full agreement with the usage of
historical Gnosticism, and Clement is trying to say exactly that.
The one thing I think you may misunderstand, though, is exactly what
that word means in the different usages.
>>>I would agree that this pretty much puts Christianityinto a category of gnosticism from Clement's viewpoint.
And, in fact, I agree!<<<
That isn't what Clement said, George. Clement never heard of the
cateogry of "Gnosticism" because it wasn't invented yet. However,
taking the category into account he is actually saying almost the
opposite of what you just stated.
>>>I'm not sure that such a distinction really matters. (pistis vsGnosis<<<
Well, since the very function of the cateogry of "Gnosticism" and
the Gnostic meaning of the word "Gnosis" is in contrast to this, it
matters quite a bit actually. This comes down to the function of
category and definitions of the words again.
>>>The experience of gnosis is obtaining the "knowledge" ofcontact with the divine.<<<
That is not technically an accurate definition, when talking about
historical Gnosticism. Perhaps that confusion is part of the
misunderstanding here, George.
>>>Whether this is accomplished by faith first, or by study first,or by a combination of these and even other practices, does it
Yes, when talking about the function of the category of "Gnosticism"
from the historical perspective it matters alot. The reason is that
it is one of the defining qualities of "Gnosis" in the category
of "Gnosticism" that it is the FINAL operative in salvation, rather
than faith (pistis) or good deeds (praxis). This is so core to the
function of the category that we simply cannot gloss past it.
The last part of your post simply can't be delt with until the prior
points are worked out. Otherwise the whole last segment of the post
would just be "begging the question". We can get back to it if you
wish after we deal with the category and word usages.