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Re: [GTh] GTh 114

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  • Michael Grondin
    From: Simon Gathercole ... It seems to me that _physical_ transformation (via reincarnation or any other means) was about the
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 8, 2006
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      From: "Simon Gathercole" <s.j.gathercole@...>

      > Actually, the idea expressed in G. Thom. 114 does survive into medieval
      > Europe: 'Peter Autier [aka Pierre Authie--SG], the leader of the Cathar
      > revival in the early 1300s, taught that one had to be a male in one's last
      > incarnation if one was to join the good god.' S. O'Shea, The Perfect
      > Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars (London:
      > Profile Books, 2000), 279 (cf. p. 42).

      It seems to me that _physical_ transformation (via reincarnation or any
      other means) was about the last thing that the writer of 114 might have had
      in mind. The whole tenor of GTh is anti-physical. I read 114 as a response
      to the well-nigh universal view among men of the time that women weren't as
      good as men. In terms of right and left (right always being the better of
      the pair), women were "of the left". 114 suggests that the GThom disciples
      saw themselves as having been transformed into wholly spirit-driven beings,
      presumably by casting off their aggressiveness, sexuality, will to power,
      etc. But what about women who wanted to join the movement? By casting Peter
      (not a hero to the GThomists) in the antagonist's role, Mary as the case in
      point, and Jesus responding as he does, the writer sanctioned the inclusion
      of women in the group, provided they would become NOT like "normal men", but
      like the self-styled (male) disciples, as far as anti-sexuality and the
      avoidance of what were felt to be typical and undesirable female attributes
      and interests (e.g., as in Mary vs. Martha in that little canonical scene).
      As 22 suggests, each gender had to cast aside its own gender-specific
      physically-centered psychological attributes, but the writer of 114 thought
      that a little extra push (and sanction from Jesus) was needed to bring women
      up to the level of males to begin with. That's roughly how I see it, anyway.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
    • CJED5@aol.com
      In a message dated 08/08/2006 19:49:47 GMT Daylight Time, mwgrondin@comcast.net writes: From: Simon Gathercole
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 8, 2006
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        In a message dated 08/08/2006 19:49:47 GMT Daylight Time,
        mwgrondin@... writes:

        From: "Simon Gathercole" <_s.j.gathercole@..._
        (mailto:s.j.gathercole@...) >

        >> Actually, the idea expressed in G. Thom. 114 does survive into medieval
        >> Europe: 'Peter Autier [aka Pierre Authie--SG], the leader of the Cathar
        >> revival in the early 1300s, taught that one had to be a male in one's last
        >> incarnation if one was to join the good god.' S. O'Shea, The Perfect
        >> Heresy: The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars (London:
        >> Profile Books, 2000), 279 (cf. p. 42).

        >It seems to me that _physical_ transformation (via reincarnation or any
        >other means) was about the last thing that the writer of 114 might have had
        >in mind. The whole tenor of GTh is anti-physical.
        ...
        and Mike Grondin that:
        <the writer of 114 thought that a little extra push (and sanction from
        Jesus) was needed to bring women up to the level of males to begin with. That's
        roughly how I see it, anyway.>>

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI


        An interesting contrast here. In Thomas 114there is an apparent disjuntion
        between sex (as in physiological configuration) and gender (in its modern,
        non-grammatical meaning of socially-conditioned characteristics attributed to
        one sex or another). Peter Autier's teaching on maleness in the last
        incarnation seems to imply congruence between physical appearance and gender
        idenitity (or spiritual gender): maybe for him, real men must be male

        Perhaps also one could argue the interpretation of 114 that Jesus as Logos
        will lead Mary as Sophia to gestate (female) and spread (male) the truth.

        I wonder if there is also an element of the Valentinian concept of a kind of
        hierarchy of maleness, too? Angls are maler than men and God is maler than
        angles, and eventually all lesser maleness gets subsumed into the greater
        maleness. Women and men will be transformed into 'perfect men' at the baptism
        of the angels, that ceremony which Tertullian poked fun at by sniggering
        about bearded men embracing their angels (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:15:2)


        Jed Chandler
        I_._,_.___




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      • sarban
        ... From: CJED5@aol.com To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:54 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 114 ... See Clement of Alexandria Excerpts
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 8, 2006
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          ----- Original Message -----

          From: CJED5@...

          To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com

          Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:54 PM

          Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 114



          > I wonder if there is also an element of the Valentinian concept of a kind of
          > hierarchy of maleness, too? Angls are maler than men and God is maler than
          > angles, and eventually all lesser maleness gets subsumed into the greater
          > maleness. Women and men will be transformed into 'perfect men' at the baptism
          > of the angels, that ceremony which Tertullian poked fun at by sniggering
          > about bearded men embracing their angels (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:15:2)

          > Jed Chandler



          See Clement of Alexandria Excerpts from Theodotus



          21 The Valentinians say that the finest emanation of Wisdom is spoken of in "He created them in the image of God, male and female created he them." Now the males from this emanation are the "election," but the females are the "calling" and they call the male beings angelic, and the females themselves, the superior seed. So also, in the case of Adam, the male remained in him but all the female seed was taken from him and became Eve, from whom the females are derived, as the males are from him. Therefore the males are drawn together with the Logos, but the females, becoming men, are united to the angels and pass into the Pleroma. Therefore the woman is said to be changed into a man, and the church here on earth into angels



          Andrew Criddle








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        • CJED5@aol.com
          In a message dated 09/08/2006 07:13:22 GMT Daylight Time, sarban@supanet.com ... seed was taken from him and became Eve Thank you, Andrew. A neoplatonic
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 9, 2006
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            In a message dated 09/08/2006 07:13:22 GMT Daylight Time, sarban@...
            writes:




            >>So also, in the case of Adam, the male remained in him but all the female
            seed was taken from him >>and became Eve


            Thank you, Andrew. A neoplatonic ascent of the soul, through the genders
            with the eventual loss of the feminine. It seems to indicate a primordial
            hermaphrodite or unsexed human creation before the female split from Adam - and
            yet it is a commentary on "He created them in the image of God, male and
            female created he them."


            Jed Chandler


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Michael Grondin
            ... The chief difficulty here would be to argue that Mary represents Sophia. The word sophia isn t used at all in the text (much less equate Mary to it).
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 9, 2006
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              [Jed Chandler]:
              > Perhaps also one could argue the interpretation of 114
              > that Jesus as Logos will lead Mary as Sophia to gestate
              > (female) and spread (male) the truth.

              The chief difficulty here would be to argue that Mary
              represents Sophia. The word 'sophia' isn't used at all
              in the text (much less equate Mary to it). Secondarily, the
              one place that 'logos' is used (79.2 - "Blessed are they
              who have listened to the LOGOS of the Father...") doesn't
              imply that Jesus is the Logos. The basic idea of listening
              (gestating?) as passive and female, and preaching as
              active and male seems sound, but this would apply to
              both physical males and females. Beyond that, getting
              full-blown Gnostic ideas out of GTh is like trying to get
              water out of a stone. More likely, 114 may have been
              viewed as a reversal of Genesis - with the new Adam
              leading the new Eve to spirituality, as the old Eve led
              the old Adam into sin and the physical world.

              > I wonder if there is also an element of the Valentinian
              > concept of a kind of hierarchy of maleness, too?

              I don't see any evidence of that in the text.

              Mike Grondin
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