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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Mani & The Manicheans this Sunday on Coffee, Cigs & Gnosis!!!

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  • Miguel Conner
    Hi, Well, I think it s safe to say that there is always going to be some cross-pollination between competing religions. And the fact the father of Christian
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Hi,

      Well, I think it's safe to say that there is always going to be some cross-pollination between competing religions.  And the fact the father of Christian theology, Saint Augustine, was, in a sense, playing both sides of the field.  Hopefully, Professor BeDuhn will come out with his new work on Augustine in the near future.

      Miguel

      pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      Miguel and all

      >>>Hope you catch it. BeDuhn was a great interviewee. <<<

      SO, I did catch it... did anyone else here do so? Anyone have
      thoughts or comments about the interview, or about the subject?
      Questions? Criticisms? Debate points?

      I did notice a few things about the interview. I noticed how Dr
      BeDuhn seemed to concede the term "Gnosticism" for the sake of the
      interview, but vascilated between drawing the line and trying to make
      a concerted effort to use the term in a more popular way.

      I was also aware of his considerably more diplomatic presentation of
      various authors' method of popularizing Gnosticism, and the resulting
      information as it really relates to subject at hand. The point about
      accentuating certain popular attributes is a nice way of questioning
      the validity of those attributes and reliability of the picture those
      authors are presenting. If one wished to state that more simply they
      could say that many popular efforts are unfortunately based on gloss
      and spin.... but I am a bit more blunt than most ;)

      I was a little disappointed that Dr BeDuhn danced past the issue of
      the funtion of gnosis in Manichaean thought vs the function in
      Gnostic thinking, since it is so core to the issue of what the
      category of "Gnostic" is meant to communicate. I do, however,
      understand that simply going with the flow may have been easier
      considering the shortness of the interview and perhaps the fact that
      the audience was likely to be new to the subject. Of course, in this
      forum we try to go a bit deeper into this kind of issue. Even in this
      forum it has sometimes been difficult to convey for some people that
      the Gnostic concept of "Gnosis" is different from the Catholic
      concept of "gnosis", because when people see the word they tend to
      automatically assume a whole host of connections.

      I have often argued that the Manichaean concept of "gnosis", is far
      closer to the orthodox Christian (especially Catholic) usage than to
      the Gnostic one. However, I leave that open to discussion and debate.

      PMCV




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    • Miguel Conner
      Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I m the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you d be surprised at how many guest mispronounce Miguel
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 1, 2006
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        Doh!  I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm the eternal autodidact!  Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.

        Miguel

        pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
        Hey Lady Cari

        >>>I'm not sure he actually conceded, PMCV, because he did point out
        differences and similarities between Manichaeans and earlier
        Gnostics, allowing the listener to at least begin a process of
        examining this subject of categorization. Possibly his primary focus
        of the interview could have been to give general information about
        Mani and the Manichaeans for an audience of varied backgrounds, as
        you point out, and not get too specific in an academic way about
        categorization. In fact I don't remember the actual
        word "Gnosticism" being used all that much in the interview. Yet use
        of terms like "gnostic movement" or "gnostics" or "antecedent
        gnostic" would seem to show a predilection for a specific category
        for comparison in his view.<<<

        Well, what I meant by "concede" is that he was willing to use terms
        like "other gnostics" when it was clear, as you point out, that he
        was often drawing a destinction. I noticed that in most instances
        when he mentioned the Gnostics first he clearly did not define
        Manichaeans as part of this movement. He even went so far as to
        explain how Manichaeans probably conciously borrowed Gnostic lingo
        at a later date in the same way they borrowed Buddhist lingo.
        However, when mentioning the Manichaeans first he sometimes talked
        about their relation to "other gnostics" with what sounded to me
        like a hint of hesitation. Perhaps that stood out to me because I
        got the unabridged version *lol*, but I can say that in his lectures
        it was not a matter of "other Gnostics".

        I do like the term "antecedent gnostics" because it can imply a
        connection without having to imply a cohesion. It allows for the
        possibility that Manichaeans are related to the Gnostics without
        actually BEING Gnostic.

        >>>And Dr. BeDuhn (pronounced, if I understand correctly: "beh-doon")
        did say early on in the interview that how Manichaeism is related to
        the broader Gnostic movement is debatable.<< <

        True, he did. And yes... Miguel, just for the record you pronounced
        his name wrong (I have to rib you on that one *lol*).

        >>>Even though he didn't get into depth about the actual function of
        gnosis, he did bring out the importance of this type of knowledge
        for both Manichaeans and earlier Gnostics, involving the true nature
        of god and soul.<<<

        Which was interesting because even in his book he talks about how
        the importance and function of this type of knowledge in the
        Manichaean system is often based on a questionable reading of the
        text (Body, pg 98, last section).

        >>>All this said, there is still the issue of the function of Gnosis
        in the system, as you also mentioned. And one could examine whether
        Gnosis or rather Praxis is emphasized as the main soteriological
        force.<<<

        Yes, exactly. I know it is a big debate, but a very important one
        when considering what it is that makes something "Gnostic".

        >>>Would you care to share your views further on this subject, PMCV?
        <<<

        Well, yes I would *lol*. However, I would like to see others offer
        some views first so that it is open to wider conversation.

        >>>BTW, I know it's Halloween, but perhaps some more spirited members
        lurking in the shadows might want to question or comment more on the
        interview or Manichaeism in general?<<<

        Oh yeah! I forgot it is Halloween. I guess I should get back to
        errands before people start knocking on the door! I do hope others
        chime in on this conversation though.

        >>>It appeared to me that Dr. BeDuhn really enjoyed this subject. He
        particularly seemed to light up when discussing the Manichaean
        positive view of world beauty (countering a reputation as "world
        haters") and part of their affirmation of beauty as manifested in the
        high value that Manichaeans placed on human art.<<<

        Indeed. In fact, I always had the impression the Gnosticism wasn't
        quite so interesting to him. Manichaeans seem to be his passion, and
        he proudly claims to be a "Mani maniac" *lol*.

        PMCV




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      • pmcvflag
        ... the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you d be surprised at how many guest mispronounce Miguel during interviews.
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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          >>>Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm
          the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest
          mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.<<<

          LOL, yeah, but I bet I have it worse. My last name is Nygren... and I
          am trying to remember the last time somebody actually said it right.

          PMCV
        • pmcvflag
          Hey Miguel ... some cross-pollination between competing religions.
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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            Hey Miguel

            >>>Well, I think it's safe to say that there is always going to be
            some cross-pollination between competing religions.<<<

            Very true. Especially when the religions in question are already a
            bit syncratic (or ecclectic, as the case may be). Still, it is even
            true of the "orthodox" religions, though many practitioners would
            like to believe otherwise.

            >>>Hopefully, Professor BeDuhn will come out with his new work on
            Augustine in the near future.<<<

            Yes. BTW, for those who may be interested Dr BeDuhn also wrote a book
            on New Testement translation called "Truth in Translation", you can
            get it on Amazon (plug). It may sound off topic, but I have some of
            Dr BeDuhn's own translations of New Testement texts, and it would
            shock many people how much more Valentinian Paul sounds (or maybe I
            should say how like Paul some Valentinian texts sound) when he is
            translated in a way that maintains words like "pleroma" the way they
            did with the Nag Hammadi texts in English.

            PMCV
          • Michael Leavitt
            Gee, I didn t know you were Vietnamese, common name there.
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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              Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.

              pmcvflag wrote:
              >>>> Doh! I should have asked him how to pronounce his name since I'm
              >>>>
              > the eternal autodidact! Oh well, you'd be surprised at how many guest
              > mispronounce 'Miguel' during interviews.<<<
              >
              > LOL, yeah, but I bet I have it worse. My last name is Nygren... and I
              > am trying to remember the last time somebody actually said it right.
              >
              > PMCV
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              > Yahoo! Groups Links
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            • pmcvflag
              Hey Mike ... Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish. PMCV
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 2, 2006
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                Hey Mike

                >>Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.<<

                Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is
                Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish.

                PMCV
              • Michael Leavitt
                Forgot the :-) again.
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 3, 2006
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                  Forgot the :-) again.

                  pmcvflag wrote:
                  > Hey Mike
                  >
                  >
                  >>> Gee, I didn't know you were Vietnamese, common name there.<<
                  >>>
                  >
                  > Unless I am mistaken, I believe the name you may be thinking of is
                  > Nguyen. My name, Nygren, is Swedish.
                  >
                  > PMCV
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                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
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