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Re: Clement & Origin say they are gnostics?

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  • pmcvflag
    George ... regarding 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
    Message 1 of 30 , Jul 29, 2006

      >>>I think there would be some who argue about certain sentences
      regarding 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 Christianity
      into 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 vs

      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" of
      contact 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
      really matter?<<<

      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.

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