My New Summary of Gnosticism

Yesterday I mentioned on the blog that I had rewritten my description of early Christian Gnosticism for the new edition of my textbook.   Here is what the major part of that discussion now looks like.  The first part tries to give a general overview of what different groups of Gnostics had in common; the second part describes the views of one of the most prominent Gnostic Groupsl   ***************************************************************** Major Views of Various Gnostic Groups Despite the many differences among the various Gnostic groups, most of them appear to have subscribed to the following views. (1)    The divine realm is inhabited not only by one ultimate God but also by a range of other divine beings, widely known as aeons.   These aeons are, in a sense, personifications of the ultimate God’s mental capacities and/or powers (some of them were called such things as Reason, Will, Grace, and Wisdom). (2)  The physical world that we inhabit was not the creation of the ultimate God but of a lower, ignorant divine being, who is often identified with [...]