What is Gnosticism?

Andrew Henry
Gnosticism looms large in the history of Christianity as one of the earliest movements condemned as a “heresy.” But what exactly was Gnosticism all about? In this four-session seminar, we’ll examine some of the most important gnostic texts from the early Christian period as well as some of its most strident critics.
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Past dates

Jun 6 - Jun 27
Jun 6 - Jun 27
10:30am PT / 1:30pm ET
60 min


What is Gnosticism? While that suffix “-ism” might lead you to believe that Gnosticism was a specific religion in antiquity, scholars increasingly argue that Gnosticism was not a cohesive “system” or social group. Gnosticism instead is a vast umbrella term encompassing several religious groups and schools of thought, including several varieties of early Christianity such as the Valentinians.

Topics will include the discovery of the Nag Hammadi codices, basic beliefs within gnostic theology, and the modern gnostic religion Mandeanism. We will also tackle the writings of Christian heresiologists who started to define the borders of orthodoxy and heresy in the early centuries of Christianity. 

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