Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism

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Gnosticism I: Gnostic Religion

1. The Problem of Definition

The term “Gnosticism” is a scholarly invention, coined by the Cambridge Platonist → Henry More (1614-1687), who used it in a pejorative sense (Layton 1995). In Antiquity, the religious phenomenon it designates was simply called “Gnosis” (Gr. gnōsis, “knowledge”) or, by its opponents, “the Gnosis falsely so called” (already in 1 Timothy 6:20). In this connection, the word Gnosis does not refer to rational, philosophical knowledge, but…

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Broek, Roelof van den, “Gnosticism”, in: Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Consulted online on 24 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1873-8338_dgwe_DGWE_137>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004141872, 20061031

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