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Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism…

Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (udgave 1987)

af Kurt Rudolph (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
416545,856 (3.88)2
Translated by R. McL. Wilson A full-scale study based on the documents of the Coptic Gnostic library found at Nag Hammadi providing a comprehensive survey of the nature, the teachings, the history and the influence of this religion.
Titel:Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism
Forfattere:Kurt Rudolph (Forfatter)
Info:HarperOne (1987), Edition: Illustrated, 432 pages
Samlinger:Gnosticism, Christianity, Dit bibliotek

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Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism af Kurt Rudolph

  1. 11
    Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (Studies in Antiquity & Christianity) af Karen L. King (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Many of the interesting controversies in the study of Gnosticism since Rudolph's book have concerned the valuation and disvaluation of the feminine. King's book collects a broad range of scholarship on the topic.

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I was so glad when it was over. . . . ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
*The* book on the evidence (archaeological and textual) left by the many branches of Gnosticism, a religion which believed that an utterly good God was separate from Creation. This book covers the descriptions by the Church fathers, the slow centuries of discovery of Gnostic texts and artifacts, and summarizes the significant figures and beliefs of each Gnostic school. (Including the Mandaeans, who survive to this day.)

Although now out-of-date this book is a treasure trove of information in a carefully indexed format. It also has images difficult to find elsewhere: depictions of the heavens in Mandaeism, Manichaean worship services, the smallest Gnostic manuscript -- I am still astonished by them every time I open this book. An important starting point for sorting out the different schools of Gnosticism and understanding what information we have and where it came from.

Note: this is the sort of detailed and comprehensive book which is not frequently updated (and with the current scholarly arguments over the term "Gnosticism" no one may set aside their skepticism long enough to write an update.)

Recommended as a vital guidebook to a broad and complex subject. [[Bentley Layton]]'s [The Gnostic Scriptures] (which divides texts into school) makes a good companion to this book. Those interested in Mandaeism should read [[J. J. Buckley]'s studies, while those interested in Manichaeism would benefit from reading [[Hans-Joachim Klimkeit]]'s [Gnosis on the Silk Road].

-Kushana ( )
2 stem Kushana | Dec 28, 2010 |
This book, initially published in German in 1977, was one of the first comprehensive treatments of antique Gnosticism to take into account the evidence of the Nag Hammadi discoveries of the 1950s. The opening section of the book, on "The Sources," capably details the state of the field of research at the time it was written.

Rudolph insists on using the word "Gnosis" only as an interchangeable designator for "Gnosticism," in keeping with the precedents in German scholarship, and in aversion to what he sees as a derogatory tone in the French Gnosticisme. This lexical choice is not exactly optimal for Anglophone readers, who will often encounter the difference in common use between Gnosticism as a religious movement in antiquity, and gnosis as an esoteric apprehension of divine realities. Rudolph prematurely pronounced the death of this distinction as a "rending apart of two terms which historically and in the history of research fundamentally belong together [that] is however not very meaningful and also has generally not prevailed." (57)

The preceding quote gives a representative taste of the writing style. Whether due to the team of three translators, or to the author's own disposition in composing a textbook for formal study, the result is often rather clunky prose. Still, the treatment is reasonably comprehensive and well-organized. The book is amply furnished with relevant plates and illustrations. The index is a little sparse, but marginal topic indications are a great help to the reader.

After thirty years, Rudolph's volume is no longer cutting-edge, but neither is it obsolete. It expresses what is now a basically conservative view of ancient Gnosticism still held by many scholars. As a treatment of ancient heterodoxy, it insufficiently problematizes the concept of orthodoxy, often taking for granted the existence of a "proper" non-Gnostic Christianity prior to the period for which good evidence can justify such a claim. Rudolph says that Gnosis developed "from a relatively independent Hellenistic religion of later antiquity to a Christian 'heresy'." (276) One might equally opine that Christianity developed from such a Hellenistic cult into a scripture-based establishment--the internal historical claims of Christians notwithstanding.
5 stem paradoxosalpha | Sep 22, 2010 |
One of the most accessible and readable surveys on Gnosticism in existence for general reader. The book introduces all important Gnostic movements and is a pleasant read. While the research might not the latest and greatest -- it's over 20 years old -- this books is still a great introductory survey. ( )
  vzakuta | Nov 23, 2009 |
This is truly a history and not really exegetical. A bit dry, but some very interesting facts. ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 17, 2007 |
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Kurt Rudolphprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Wilson, Robert McLachlanOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Translated by R. McL. Wilson A full-scale study based on the documents of the Coptic Gnostic library found at Nag Hammadi providing a comprehensive survey of the nature, the teachings, the history and the influence of this religion.

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