Re: The Origins of Gnosticism this week on CCG!!!
--- In email@example.com, "miguelconner" <miguelconner@...> wrote:
> Perhaps the most debated and intriguing topic in Gnosticism is where
> it began. Was it a Christian side effect? Did it originate from
> Persian or other pagan mysteries? Was it just another Jewish heresy?
> We probe deep into history and theology to find out where exactly the
> Gnostics sprouted out of in mankind's imagination. Astral
> GuestBirger A. Pearson, author of `Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and
> Literature', `Gnosticism, Judaism and Egyptian Christianity' and one
> of the original translators of the Nag Hammadi Library (and also the
> new one by Marvin Meyer).
Hello, Miguel. I finally had a chance to listen to your interview with Dr. Birger Pearson. Thank you for that. I'll have to check on his new book, Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature.
It seems that discussions around here in the past have centered on the term Gnosticism involving a stricter historical treatment vs. a broader, modern usage. Now, we see newer books questioning the very category of historical "Gnosticism" itself. Not only considered would be possible origins, but also did it ever exist or should we redefine attributes of such a category, etc.?
Birger Pearson and others entertain a viable category called Gnosticism, which defines Gnosis as salvific, predating Christianity with some later Christianizing of "Sethian" or "Classic" texts, and notably with Valentinus later incorporating a Christian theme. IOW, this category would encompass more than a burgeoning Christian milieu.
It's good to have another introductory book that offers a view of a category encompassing more than primarily a Christian phenomenon for readers' ongoing debates.