REL 1350 gnosticism montanism july 2008 - Rejected...

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Rejected Boundaries of the Faith:Gnosticism and MontanismHeresy and OrthodoxyHeresy: Incorrect belief, false doctrineOrthodoxy: Correct beliefGnosticismGnosticism is considered the most influential heresy of early Christianity oGnosticism was an attempt to make elements of Christianity compatible with Greek culture and thoughtoAn elitist systemoWidespread second and third centuries; very influential in EgyptMeaning of GnosisoTo know – a secret divine knowledgeoSalvation achieved through gnosisGeneral characteristicsoSyncretistic– combination of Jewish, Hellenistic, Christian thought; Scripture only one source of revelation. (Bring everything together)oContinuingRevelation– God spoke through New Testamentwritings as well as other writings that Jesus alleged revealed secretly to GnosticsE.g., Gospel of JudasoDiversity(Esotericism)– not one Gnostic groupThe knowledge (gnosis) not intended for allOnly those few who have been initiated into this special knowledge can be savedoRadicalDualism– the world (matter) is evil; soul (spirit) is good, but trapped in the bodyMind, Soul, Consciousness OVER Body Matter God and the world oGod is separated (transcendent) from creation by a vast complex of heavenly powers.oThe unity of God (Pleroma - full) broken by a cosmic “fall”oSophia (Wisdom) falls and produces the Demiurge oHumanity and this WorldThe creator of this imperfect world is the demiurge, Yahweh of the Old TestamentHumans have a spirit trapped inside the evil body (dualism!)The Father (not the same as the Demiurge) wants spirit to return to him.

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