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5833Re: Gnosticism

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  • Mike McLafferty
    Aug 1 11:46 PM
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      Maurice responded:

      > This sort of brings a new form of sanity to the
      > difficulty some of us (myself) have in hastily
      > qualifying Thomas as "essentially Gnostic".
      > After all, while Thomas does talk of "duality"
      > and "the light", he dosen't even hint at concepts
      > such as the demiurge, archons, etc. etc.

      April De Conick's _Seek to See Him: Ascent & Vision Mysticism in the Gospel
      of Thomas_ (Leiden: Brill, 1996) doesn't seem to have affected or even
      reached many GTh fans, probably because she "dispels the belief that [it]
      originates from Gnostic traditions." [She argues for Jewish mystical and
      Hermetic origins.]

      "We should be speaking of an influx of traditions found in *Thomas* into
      Gnosticism, not the influx of Gnosticism into *Thomas*." [p.27]

      (For that matter, I also was surprised at the lack of reaction to John
      Lupia's submittal back in March, likening GTh to the Toldoth Jeschu as
      "purposefully anti-Christian propaganda." In his draft essay, he called the
      GTh writings "comical derisions and parodies of Jesus' sayings,"
      "cacography," and bawdy "hilarotragoedia," written by the Sadducees and
      Pharisees. Talk about provocative! Interestingly, Lupia's thesis implies a
      dating of them even earlier than many Thomas fans dare hope for: "early
      30's, or perhaps earlier.")

      > Could it be that at the time of the very early
      > church (pre canon) there was more marveling
      > at what Jesus said and did than there was at
      > the doctrine he preached, ...

      I myself lean toward "there was more marveling at who the HJ said he *was*
      and at what he did."

      > ...I am trying to designate the concept or "ism"
      > of oneness of, and oneness with, the universe"
      > preached by Teilhard de Chardin in recent years,
      > (and largely rejected by the Church) but I find
      > no way of designating it other than to think of it
      > as being part of "a less popular aspect" of
      > (nontheless) "Christianity". Perhaps the same
      > was true in the early Church of what we call
      > "Gnosticism".

      I found Pere Teilhard anti-demiurgical with no gnosis to peddle, and his
      eschatological Omega Point made him seem kind of messianic to me, but
      ironically some fundamentalists brand him "a neo-Gnostic evolutionist." Take
      this guy:

      Michael McLafferty
      Portland, Oregon, USA
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