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Re: The Gnostic Flavor of the 2nd Masada Speech

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  • Steve Wenninger
    ... if ... could ... Dear Mike; You are quite right that the Gnostics did not glorify martyrdom. Their general contempt for the material world did not lend
    Message 1 of 48 , Mar 31 10:32 PM
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
      > Hello George
      >
      > On 31-Mar-03, you wrote:
      >
      > > Mike,
      > >
      > > Yes, I suppose Josephus can be untrustworthy.
      > > But we here, on this list, have the benefit of
      > > not having to worry about whether a mass suicide
      > > really happened or not.
      > >
      > > All we have to worry about is whether Josephus
      > > is likely to have made up, out of whole cloth, the
      > > theology he puts into the mouth of the chief
      > > Sicarii.
      > >
      > > You are going to have to do an awful lot of
      > > convincing to conclude that Josephus didn't at
      > > least *think* the Sicarii held these views.
      > >
      > > One "test" of the matter is to ask yourself
      > > how or why the Sicarii could be so willing to
      > > die for their cause (in places other than Masada).
      > >
      > > If you *do* agree that the Sicarii shared some
      > > of the martyr tendencies discussed in parts of the
      > > Maccabees, it becomes (suddenly) interesting to
      > > examine whether gnostic or proto-gnostic thinking
      > > is what helped make these behaviors possible.
      >
      > This is a good point. However Gnostics usually opposed marterdum,
      > and the Valentinians held the view, die if you must, but avoid it
      if
      > possible. None the less, one can see how some gnostic thought
      could
      > lead to this type of behavior.
      >
      > Regards
      > --
      > Mike Leavitt ac998@l..

      Dear Mike; You are quite right that the Gnostics did not glorify
      martyrdom. Their general contempt for the material world did not
      lend itself to programs of resistance to political powers with the
      aim of improving conditions on earth. The resistance fighters at
      Masada apparently believed that it was possible to overthrow the
      Romans with God's help.This does not strike me as terribly Gnostic.
      The docetic Gnostic view was that Jesus himself did not really
      suffer and die on the cross. -Steve
    • Mike Leavitt
      Hello lady_caritas ... Always, it is a limitation of the language, any language. And one can get so hung up in the history, one forgets about practice. My BA
      Message 48 of 48 , Apr 6, 2003
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        Hello lady_caritas

        On 06-Apr-03, you wrote:

        >> My Bishop makes good points here, but it just makes the historian's
        >> task more difficult, not less desirable, and it makes his goals
        >> more circumscribed, perhaps.
        >>
        >> Regards
        >> --
        >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
        >
        >
        > I would agree, Mike. Historians offer us contextual information for
        > our discussions.
        >
        > You also mention in Post #7467, "If we don't know where we came
        > from, we don't know where we are going. Gnosis may be now, but it is
        > not in a vacuum."
        >
        > Again, agreed, of course gnosis is not in a vacuum. We live in a
        > temporal world and gnosis is comprehended within that environment.
        >
        > I suppose my point was to say that your comment, "If we don't know
        > where we came from, we don't know where we are going," could be
        > viewed with more than one meaning.
        >
        >
        > Cari

        Always, it is a limitation of the language, any language. And one can
        get so hung up in the history, one forgets about practice. My BA was
        in Classical and Medieval History, my MA is in Psychology, so I guess
        that puts me squarely in both the historical and the practice camps,
        actually not a contradiction as I see it.

        Regards
        --
        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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