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As Good A Working Definition as I will Need

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  • George Brooks
    I will use your most recent post (as below) as the basis of my working definition. It is now clear to me what you think and what you DON T think. Thanks.
    Message 1 of 19 , May 17 5:19 AM
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      I will use your most recent post (as below) as the basis
      of my working definition. It is now clear to me what
      you think and what you DON'T think. Thanks. George

      --- In gthomas@y..., Michael Grondin <mgrondin@t...> wrote:
      > George-
      >
      > First, I'd like to mention that I heartily endorse the analysis of
      Dave
      > Hindley in his latest note. Thruout this discussion, I've tried to
      stress
      > that there are two concepts of gnosticism at work here - one, the
      > "low-gnosticism" of gnostic-Xians, the other the "high-Gnosticism"
      of
      > Xian-Gnostics (which includes an inferior creator-god, radical
      > anti-materialism, etc). In spite of this, you continue to use the
      term
      > 'Gnosticism' without qualification. This makes your remarks quite
      difficult
      > to respond to, because it's never entirely clear which one you're
      talking
      > about.
      >
      > >If you agree (I think you did, right?) that your views
      > >about groups being BOTH Gnostic and Christian are not
      > >widely shared.... then I'm TRYING to find a way that
      > >we can all share the same vocabulary.
      >
      > My suggestion is to use the term 'gnostic-Xian'. As far as I can
      see,
      > that's the kind of group you're interested in - not Xian-Gnostics,
      and not
      > "Gnostics" in general.
      >
      > >I detect that there are those on this list that believe
      > >the Thomas community satisfy a basic definition of Gnostic
      > >(whatever that may be).
      >
      > Then let these folks come forward and give their own definition. No
      need
      > for you to act altruistically on behalf of a viewpoint that hasn't
      been
      > expressed.
      >
      > >And I believe we all share the idea that the Thomas
      > >community is CHRISTIAN.
      > >
      > >So.... despite your incredibly "painful" analysis of
      > >the linguistic material available to you on these points,
      > >we need an "analytical tool" that we can benchmark to
      > >an EXEMPLAR Christian Group that is Gnostic by the "usual"
      > >definition (whatever that is).
      >
      > Two possible exemplars of gnostic-Xianity have already been
      mentioned -
      > Paul and Clement of Alexandria. Clement in fact went to some pains
      to
      > distinguish two kinds of gnosis, so you may want to start with him.
      Or you
      > may want to read Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Paul" (which I'll be
      reading
      > myself as soon as my order arrives).
      >
      > >Do you think you can construct a USEFUL definition of
      > >a group that is Gnostic and Christian by the "conventional"
      > >definition, instead of a definition that only works for
      > >you, and excludes the whole possibility of a Gnostic-and-
      > >Christian group?
      >
      > I understand you as asking for a definition of gnostic-Xianity.
      Sorry, I
      > don't have one, other than what David said. I'm content, as I said
      before,
      > with the view that GTh falls more readily into that category than
      any of
      > the others we've discussed, so I don't really feel the need for a
      more
      > precise conventional definition, since I don't think that such a
      definition
      > would alter my assessment. Hence for me it would be just an academic
      > exercise, and I try to avoid those critters.
      >
      > Mike
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