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RELG 222: Gnosticism (HC)

Religion 222: Gnosticism (McGuire) Spring 2015

Finding Journal Articles

Journal articles provide in depth scholarly information.  They are vetted and improved by peer review.  They are usually fairly short in length and focused on discussing one specific issue.  The following indexes are good places to find journal articles about religion.

Use the Find It button           in these indexes to find out if the journal articles are available in the Tri-College libraries. If the journal is not listed in Tripod, use the Find It request form or the Interlibrary Loan Request Form on Tripod to have a copy of the article sent to you from another library.

Discipline-Specific Indexes

These indexes are particularly good for accessing the scholarly literature of a particular discipline, i.e., articles written by religion scholars, historians, anthropologists, or other .kinds of researchers.

General Indexes

Examples of Journal Articles

These articles found in ATLA Religion Database demonstrate a range of topics around the issue of gnosticism.

"Dismantling Gender: Between Ancient Gnostic Ritual and Modern Queer BDSM."  By Jonathan Cahana. Theology and Sexuality Vol. 18, Issue 1 (2012): 60-75.

Abstract: While it may seem at first that a vast chasm separates ancient gnostics, those “heretical” early Christians active in the Greco-Roman world of the first centuries CE, and modern queer BDSM practitioners, one should note that what these two groups have in common is crucial: both believe gender to be oppressive and both act upon this belief in strikingly similar ways. This article presents a comparative study of the rituals employed by both groups, which were and are constructed in order to prescribe a way to gradually undermine the normative process of gendering. The comparison focuses on three interrelated issues: the motivation in each case to take part in the ritual, the דtranscendence towards which each ritual aspires, and the positioning o f the subject performing the ritual in relation to the ritual objectives and efficaciousness. This comparison is meant to shed more light on these two extremely complex phenomena.

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"Irenaeus’s Knowledge of the Gospel of Judas: Real or False? An Analysis of the Evidence in Context."  By Johannes van Oort.   HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies Vol. 69, Issue 1 (2013): 8 pages.

Abstract:  This study discusses Irenaeus of Lyon’s testimony of the famous Gospel of Judas, offering both a historical and, in particular, linguistic analysis and retranslation of Against Heresies 1.31.1. On the basis of a detailed philological commentary and textual analysis it is – contrary to most current opinions – concluded that Irenaeus, in all feasibility, had first-hand knowledge of the Gospel and its contents. In other words, Irenaeus appears to have read the text as we now have it (‘a composed work’) and he summarises it in his treatise. According to Irenaeus’s testimony, the Gospel was produced by a group of 2nd century Gnostics who positively venerated Judas as a fellow Gnostic in the same way that they positively venerated Cain. It was because of his particular knowledge of the redeeming act of Sophia as well as the negative characteristics of the creator God in contrast to the superior God that Judas accomplished the ‘mystery of his (= Jesus’) betrayal’, so that ‘through him (= Judas) all things, both earthly and heavenly, have been dissolved.’

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"A Way of Salvation: Becoming Like God in Nag Hammadi."  By Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta.  Numen  Vol. 60, Issue 1 (2013): 71 – 102.

Abstract:  Contrary to general belief, ethical progress as a means to attain the divine and thereby achieve salvation occupies a central place in the Nag Hammadi writings. Plato’s conception of the homoiosis theo or “likeness to god” fits very well this dynamic view of man, since it optimistically claims the possibility of human development and progress. Plato’s dialogues are far from offering a univocal exposition of how this progress was fulfilled, but later Platonists show a rather systematizing tendency. The present paper provides an overview of the homoiosis theo in the Platonic dialogues and evaluates its appropriation by both Middle Platonism and the world of Gnosis. It also offers an exposition and analysis of those Nag Hammadi writings that may allow a proper understanding of the meaning and goal of the homoiosis theo in this collection of texts.

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