Gnosticism, gnostics, and gnosis
DOI link for Gnosticism, gnostics, and gnosis
Gnosticism, gnostics, and gnosis book
This chapter discusses the problem and attendant evidence of ancient "Gnosticism" and traces the reception and development of ancient Gnostic traditions in the medieval world as well as the modern emergence of discourse about "Gnosis." Ferdinand Christian Baur used the term Gnosis to describe a transhistorical philosophy of religion, culminating in the philosophy of Hegel, whose central features are an emphasis on religious knowledge, cosmic dualism, and allegorical interpretation of scripture. The problem of how the Gnostic and Manichaean traditions relate to the development of dualist heresy in medieval Europe – specifically, Bogomilism and its progeny, Catharism – remains unanswerable, despite intensive research. The Gospel of Thomas from Nag Hammadi has found theological commentators from the New Age movement as well as the Neo-Gnostic Ecclesia Gnostica and independent, self-described "Gnostics," all of whom bring diverse, modern perspectives informed by reading of popular scholarship.