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Re: The Old & New Inquisition against the Gnostics this Sun on CCG!!!

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Lady Cari ... developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems... .... It s
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 19, 2007
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      Hey Lady Cari

      >>>PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
      developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a
      weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems...<snip>....
      It's very possible that not only the exoteric church and its
      polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures as
      historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
      and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
      and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
      heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.<<<

      Exactly. The literalism and simple pistic soteriology is a double
      whammy in that it is easy to understand, but also plays well into
      political agendas since it lends itself readily to a sort of civil
      codification.

      The perfect tool for the power hungry.

      >>>Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how
      gradually the expression no longer always had historical meaning,
      and often became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The
      professor also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which he
      made fun of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often
      became pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this
      word were used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy
      rhetoric.<<<

      It is always nice to hear somebody else point this out besides us,
      eh? *lol*

      PMCV
    • pmcvflag
      Hey Miguel ... the beginning, anything mainstream they don t like will be called Gnostic. In Arthur s book he points out authors who have humorously accused
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 19, 2007
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        Hey Miguel

        >>You expressed this better than I could have. In the end, as in
        the beginning, anything mainstream they don't like will be called
        Gnostic. In Arthur's book he points out authors who have humorously
        accused Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steimen, and even Louis Farrakan of
        being 'gnostic'. And the list doesn't end there!<<<

        Then again, this would be expected on the part of the polemicists.
        Critical perspective is not in their agenda. What I find even more
        strange is that the same thing is going on with many people who
        label THEMSELVES "Gnostic". Just as it was with the polemicists
        trying to connect heresies together, some modern self professed
        Gnostics often reduce the category to a specific attribute and
        extend the label accordingly. Things like egalitarianism, mysticism,
        some sort of spiritual anarchy or counterculture individualism, or
        simply not being "orthodox" becomes the idenity of "Gnostic".

        No wonder people often join the forum confused about what the
        heck "Gnosticism" actually is *lol*.

        PMCV
      • pmcvflag
        BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the interview I meant to post this as the probable quote... Once I believed that Gnosticism
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
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          BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the
          interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...

          "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
          belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
          was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
          Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
          world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
          Gnosticism occur again.

          I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
          Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
          Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
          Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
          were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
          were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
          superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
          things and their opposite are equally gnostic."

          The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
          counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
          serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
          of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
          like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
          *sigh*.

          PMCV

          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey Lady Cari
          >
          > >>>PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
          > developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used
          as a
          > weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems...<snip>....
          > It's very possible that not only the exoteric church and its
          > polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures as
          > historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
          > and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
          > and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
          > heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.<<<
          >
          > Exactly. The literalism and simple pistic soteriology is a double
          > whammy in that it is easy to understand, but also plays well into
          > political agendas since it lends itself readily to a sort of civil
          > codification.
          >
          > The perfect tool for the power hungry.
          >
          > >>>Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how
          > gradually the expression no longer always had historical meaning,
          > and often became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The
          > professor also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which
          he
          > made fun of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often
          > became pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this
          > word were used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy
          > rhetoric.<<<
          >
          > It is always nice to hear somebody else point this out besides us,
          > eh? *lol*
          >
          > PMCV
          >
        • lady_caritas
          ... the ... PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky faces, or something. ;-) Not only Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in
            the
            > interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...
            >
            > "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
            > belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
            > was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
            > Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
            > world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
            > Gnosticism occur again.
            >
            > I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
            > Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
            > Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
            > Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
            > were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
            > were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
            > superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
            > things and their opposite are equally gnostic."
            >
            > The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
            > counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
            > serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
            > of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
            > like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
            > *sigh*.
            >
            > PMCV
            >


            PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky
            faces, or something. ;-)


            "Not only Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic
            [ :-0 ], the Neoplatonic too [ ;-> ], Reformation was gnostic
            [ :-S ], Communism was gnostic [ :-( ],"... etc.

            Cari
          • Michael Leavitt
            ... Cutsipoo gnosis, no less. :-)
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
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              > PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky
              > faces, or something. ;-)
              >
              >
              Cutsipoo gnosis, no less. :-)
              >
              >
            • Gerry
              ... Yes, naïf indeed! Ya know, before our initial venturing into the Internet all those years ago, I m sure that I would NEVER have believed that people
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 1, 2007
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                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:

                >
                > BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the
                > interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...
                >
                > "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
                > belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
                > was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
                > Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
                > world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
                > Gnosticism occur again.
                >
                > I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
                > Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
                > Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
                > Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
                > were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
                > were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
                > superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
                > things and their opposite are equally gnostic."
                >
                > The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
                > counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
                > serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
                > of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
                > like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
                > *sigh*.
                >
                > PMCV
                >

                 

                Yes, naïf indeed!  Ya know, before our initial venturing into the Internet all those years ago, I'm sure that I would NEVER have believed that people could actually understand such a clear and reasonable statement as advocating the very opposite of what the author intended.  Unfortunately, we've seen it happen too many times.

                Gerry

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