The gnostic religion : the message of the alien God & the beginnings of Christianity (Book, 2001) [WorldCat.org]
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The gnostic religion : the message of the alien God & the beginnings of Christianity

Author: Hans Jonas
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [2001.] ©2001
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Third editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"' ... All investigations of detail over the last half century have proved divergent rather than convergent, and leave us with a portrait of Gnosticism in which the absence of a unifying character seems to be the salient feature' - Hans Jonas, Preface, 1958. No modern writer that I am aware of has brought life to Gnosticism as Jonas has. While in no way neglecting historical or theological issues, Jonas didn't get  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hans Jonas
ISBN: 0807058017 9780807058015
OCLC Number: 44713051
Description: xxxvi, 359 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction : East and West in Hellenism --
PART I. Gnostic literature --
main tenets, symbolic language. 2. The meaning of Gnosis and the extent of the Gnostic movement --
3. Gnostic imagery and symbolic language --
PART II. Gnostic systems of thought. 4. Simon Magus --
5. The "hymn of the pearl" --
6. The angels that made the world. The gospel of Marcion --
7. The Poimandres of Hermes Trismegistus --
8. The Valentinian speculation --
9. Creation, world history, and salvation according to Mani --
PART III. Gnosticism and the classical mind. 10. The cosmos in Greek and Gnostic evaluation --
11. Virtue and the soul in Greek and Gnostic teaching --
Supplements to the second edition : --
12. The recent discoveries in the field of Gnosticism --
13. Epilogue : Gnosticism, Nihilism and Existentialism.
Responsibility: Hans Jonas.
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Abstract:

"' ... All investigations of detail over the last half century have proved divergent rather than convergent, and leave us with a portrait of Gnosticism in which the absence of a unifying character seems to be the salient feature' - Hans Jonas, Preface, 1958. No modern writer that I am aware of has brought life to Gnosticism as Jonas has. While in no way neglecting historical or theological issues, Jonas didn't get bogged down in them: he insisted on revealing the existential import of Gnosticism. Indeed, at the end of this book he explores the commonalities of ancient Gnosticism and Heidegger's existentialism. What does it mean to feel one is in a cosmos in which God is alien or absent? Jonas provides a broad sweep of the conditions at the time Gnosticism developed at the beginning of the Christian era. His writing is that of a scholar but not targetted only to scholars ... He writes: ' ... Gnosticism is actually a product of synceticsm [so] each of these theories can be supported from the sources and none of them is satisfactory alone; but neither is the combination of all of them [supportable] which would make Gnosticism out to mere a mere mosaic of these elements and so miss its autonomous essence.' Yet nearly fifty years later some scholars look for a single source for Gnosticism while many are unable to find a suitably bounded definition. Jonas would not cage Gnosticism. Instead he asserts 'The gnostic movement - such as we must call it - was a widespread phenomena in the critical centuries indicated, feeding like Christianity on the impulses of a widely prevalent human situation, and therefore erupting in many places, many forms, and many languages.' Jonas discusses many Gnostic texts and themes ..."--Amazon.com.

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