Gnostics Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity

ISBN-10: 0674066030

ISBN-13: 9780674066038

Edition: 2010

Authors: David Brakke

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Description:

Who were the Gnostics? And how did the Gnostic movement influence the development of Christianity in antiquity? Is it true that the Church rejected Gnosticism? This book offers an illuminating discussion of recent scholarly debates over the concept of “Gnosticism” and the nature of early Christian diversity. Acknowledging that the category “Gnosticism” is flawed and must be reformed, David Brakke argues for a more careful approach to gathering evidence for the ancient Christian movement known as the Gnostic school of thought. He shows how Gnostic myth and ritual addressed basic human concerns about alienation and meaning, offered a message of salvation in Jesus, and provided a way for people to regain knowledge of God, the ultimate source of their being.Rather than depicting the Gnostics as heretics or as the losers in the fight to define Christianity, Brakke argues that the Gnostics participated in an ongoing reinvention of Christianity, in which other Christians not only rejected their ideas but also adapted and transformed them. This book will challenge scholars to think in news ways, but it also provides an accessible introduction to the Gnostics and their fellow early Christians.
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Book details

List price: $20.50
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/3/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 180
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

David Brakke is Professor of Religious Studies and Adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University.Michael L. Satlow is Associate Professor in the Program in Judaic Studies and the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University.Steven Weitzman is the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and Director of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University.

Preface
Abbreviations
Imagining "Gnosticism" and Early Christianities
Identifying the Gnostics and Their Literature
The Myth and Rituals of the Gnostic School of Thought
Unity and Diversity in Second-Century Rome
Strategies of Self-Differentiation
Notes
Selected Bibliography of Primary Sources in Translation
Index
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