Gnosis

Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge (γνῶσις, gnōsis, f.).[1] The term is used in various Hellenistic religions and philosophies.[2][3] It is best known from Gnosticism, where it signifies a knowledge or insight into humanity’s real nature as divine, leading to the deliverance of the divine spark within humanity from the constraints of earthly existence.[3][2]

Etymology

Gnosis is a feminine Greek noun which means "knowledge".[4] It is often used for personal knowledge compared with intellectual knowledge (εἶδειν eídein), as with the French connaître compared with savoir, the Spanish conocer compared with saber, or the German kennen rather than wissen.[5]

A related term is the adjective gnostikos, "cognitive",[6] a reasonably common adjective in Classical Greek.[7] Plato uses the plural adjective γνωστικοί – gnostikoi and the singular feminine adjective γνωστικὴ ἐπιστήμη – gnostike episteme in his Politikos where Gnostike episteme was also used to indicate one's aptitude. The terms do not appear to indicate any mystic, esoteric or hidden meaning in the works of Plato, but instead expressed a sort of higher intelligence and ability analogous to talent.[8]

Plato The Statesman 258e

— Stranger: In this way, then, divide all science into two arts, calling the one practical (praktikos), and the other purely intellectual (gnostikos). Younger Socrates: Let us assume that all science is one and that these are its two forms.[9]

In the Hellenistic era the term became associated with the mystery cults.

Gnosis is used throughout Greek philosophy as a technical term for experience knowledge (see gnosiology) in contrast to theoretical knowledge or epistemology. The term is also related to the study of knowledge retention or memory (see also cognition), in relation to ontic or ontological, which is how something actually is rather than how something is captured (abstraction) and stored (memory) in the mind.

Irenaeus used the phrase "knowledge falsely so-called" (pseudonymos gnosis, from 1 Timothy 6:20)[10] for the title of his book On the Detection and Overthrow of False Knowledge, that contains the adjective gnostikos, which is the source for the 17th-century English term "Gnosticism".

Judeo-Christian usage

Hellenistic Jewish literature

The Greek word gnosis (knowledge) is used as a standard translation of the Hebrew word "knowledge" (דעת da'ath) in the Septuagint, thus:

The Lord gives wisdom [ħokhma] (sophia), from his face come knowledge [da'ath] (gnosis) and understanding [tevuna] (synesis)"

— Proverbs 2.6

Philo also refers to the "knowledge" (gnosis) and "wisdom" (sophia) of God.[11]

New Testament

Paul distinguishes "knowledge" (gnosis) and "knowledge falsely so-called" (pseudonymos gnosis).

In the writings of the Greek Fathers

The fathers of early Christianity used the word "knowledge" (gnosis) in the New Testament to mean spiritual knowledge or specific knowledge of the divine. This positive usage was to contrast it with how gnostic sectarians used the word. This positive use carried over from Hellenic philosophy into Greek Orthodoxy as a critical characteristic of ascetic practices, through St. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Hippolytus of Rome, Hegesippus, and Origen.

Cardiognosis ("knowledge of the heart") from Eastern Christianity related to the tradition of the staretz and in Roman Catholic theology is the view that only God knows the condition of one's relationship with God.[12][13]

In Eastern Orthodox thought

Gnosis in Orthodox Christian (primarily Eastern Orthodox) thought is the spiritual knowledge of a saint (one who has obtained theosis)[14] or mystically enlightened human being. Within the cultures of the term's provenance (Byzantine and Hellenic) Gnosis was a knowledge or insight into the infinite, divine and uncreated in all and above all,[15] rather than knowledge strictly into the finite, natural or material world.[16] Gnosis is transcendental as well as mature understanding. It indicates direct spiritual, experiential knowledge[17] and intuitive knowledge, mystic rather than that from rational or reasoned thinking. Gnosis itself is gained through understanding at which one can arrive via inner experience or contemplation such as an internal epiphany of intuition and external epiphany such as the Theophany.

In the Philokalia, it is emphasized that such knowledge is not secret knowledge but rather a maturing, transcendent form of knowledge derived from contemplation (theoria resulting from practice of hesychasm), since knowledge cannot truly be derived from knowledge, but rather, knowledge can only be derived from theoria (to witness, see (vision) or experience).[18] Knowledge, thus plays an important role in relation to theosis (deification/personal relationship with God) and theoria (revelation of the divine, vision of God).[19] Gnosis, as the proper use of the spiritual or noetic faculty plays an important role in Orthodox Christian theology. Its importance in the economy of salvation is discussed periodically in the Philokalia where as direct, personal knowledge of God (noesis; see also Noema) it is distinguished from ordinary epistemological knowledge (episteme—i.e., speculative philosophy).

Gnosticism

Gnosticism originated in the late first century CE in nonrabbinical Jewish sects and early Christian sects.[20] In the formation of Christianity, various sectarian groups, labeled "gnostics" by their opponents, emphasised spiritual knowledge (gnosis) of the Divine spark within, over faith (pistis) in the teachings and traditions of the various communities of Christians.[21] Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God, and the demiurge “creator” of the material universe. The Gnostics considered the most essential part of the process of salvation to be this personal knowledge, in contrast to faith as an outlook in their world view along with faith in the ecclesiastical authority. They were regarded as heretics by the Fathers of the early church.

See also

References

  1. ^ Stanley E. Porter; David Yoon (2016). Paul and Gnosis. BRILL. p. 9. ISBN 978-90-04-31669-0.
  2. ^ a b Kurt Rudolph (2001). Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism. A&C Black. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-567-08640-2.
  3. ^ a b Gnosticism, Encyclopædia Britannica
  4. ^ Liddell Scott entry γνῶσις , εως, ἡ, A. seeking to know, inquiry, investigation, esp. judicial, “τὰς τῶν δικαστηρίων γ.” D.18.224; “τὴν κατὰ τοῦ διαιτητοῦ γdeetr.” Id.21.92, cf. 7.9, Lycurg.141; “γ. περὶ τῆς δίκης” PHib.1.92.13 (iii B. C.). 2. result of investigation, decision, PPetr.3p.118 (iii B. C.). II. knowing, knowledge, Heraclit.56; opp. ἀγνωσίη, Hp. Vict.1.23 (dub.); opp. ἄγνοια, Pl.R.478c; “ἡ αἴσθησις γ. τις” Arist.GA731a33: pl., “Θεὸς γνώσεων κύριος” LXX 1 Ki.2.3. b. higher, esoteric knowledge, 1 Ep.Cor.8.7,10, Ep.Eph.3.19, etc.; “χαρισάμενος ἡμῖν νοῦν, λόγον, γνῶσιν” PMag.Par.2.290. 2. acquaintance with a person, πρός τινα Test. ap.Aeschin.1.50; “τῶν Σεβαστῶν” IPE1.47.6 (Olbia). 3. recognizing, Th.7.44. 4. means of knowing, [“αἱ αἰσθήσεις] κυριώταται τῶν καθ᾽ ἕκαστα γ.” Arist.Metaph.981b11. III. being known, γνῶσιν ἔχει τι, = γνωστόν ἐστι, Pl.Tht.206b. 2. fame, credit, Hdn.7.5.5, Luc.Herod.3. IV. means of knowing: hence, statement in writing, PLond.5.1708, etc. (vi A. D.). V. = γνῶμα, Hsch. s. h. v.
  5. ^ Pagels, Elaine (1995). The Origin of Satan. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press. p. 167.
  6. ^ LSJ entry γνωστ-ικός , ή, όν, A. of or for knowing, cognitive: ἡ -κή (sc. ἐπιστήμη), theoretical science (opp. πρακτική), Pl.Plt.258b.c., etc.; τὸ γ. ib.261b; “ἕξεις γ.” Arist.AP0.100a11 (Comp.); “γ. εἰκόνες” Hierocl.in CA25p.475M.: c. gen., able to discern, Ocell. 2.7. Adv. “-κῶς” Procl.Inst.39, Dam.Pr.79, Phlp.in Ph.241.22.
  7. ^ In Perseus databank 10x Plato, Cratylus, Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman 2x Plutarch, Compendium libri de animae procreatione + De animae procreatione in Timaeo, 2x Pseudo-Plutarch, De musica
  8. ^ Cooper and Hutchinson. "Introduction to Politikos." Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. (Eds.) (1997). Plato: Complete Works, Hackett Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-87220-349-2.
  9. ^ Plato. Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 12 translated by Harold N. Fowler. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921.
  10. ^ feminine nominative adjective
  11. ^ New Testament studies: Society for New Testament Studies - 1981 "see also the more extensive analysis of gnosis in Philo by Hans Jonas, Gnosis und spatantiker Geist 11/1"
  12. ^ Donald K. McKim, Westminster dictionary of theological terms, 1996, p. 39
  13. ^ A concise dictionary of theology by Gerald O'Collins, Edward G. Farrugia pg 130 Publisher: T. & T. Clark Publishers (August 30, 2004) ISBN 978-0-567-08354-8 [1]
  14. ^ "Spiritual knowledge is the state of spiritual theoria, when one sees invisibly and hears inaudibly and comprehends incomprehensibly the glory of God. Precisely then comprehension ceases and, what is more, he understands that he does not understand. Within the vision of the uncreated Light man also sees angels and Saints and, in general, he experiences communion with the angels and the Saints. He is then certain that resurrection exists. This is the spiritual knowledge which all the holy Prophets, the Apostles, Martyrs, ascetics and all the Saints of the Church had. The teachings of the Saints are an offspring of this spiritual knowledge. And, naturally, as we said earlier, spiritual knowledge is a fruit of the vision of God. "THE ILLNESS AND CURE OF THE SOUL" Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos [2]
  15. ^ St. Symeon the New Theologian in Practical & Theological Discourses, 1.1 The Philokalia Volume Four: When men search for God with their bodily eyes they find Him nowhere, for He is invisible. But for those who ponder in the Spirit He is present everywhere. He is in all, yet beyond all
  16. ^ Faith And Science In Orthodox Gnosiology And Methodology by George Metallinos "The scientist and professor of the knowledge of the Uncreated, in the Orthodox Tradition, is the Geron/Starets (the Elder or Spiritual Father), the guide or "teacher of the desert." The recording of both types of knowledge presupposes empirical knowledge of the phenomenon. The same holds true in the field of science, where only the specialist understands the research of other scientists of the same field. The adoption of conclusions or findings of a scientific branch by non-specialists (i.e. those who are unable to experimentally examine the research of the specialists) is based on the trust of the specialists credibility. Otherwise, there would be no scientific progress. The same holds true for the science of faith. The empirical knowledge of the Saints, Prophets, Apostles, Fathers and Mothers of all ages is adopted and founded upon the same trust. The patristic tradition and the Church's Councils function on this provable experience. There is no Ecumenical Council without the presence of the glorified/deified (theoumenoi), those who see the divine (this is the problem of the councils of today!) Orthodox doctrine results from this relationship." University of Athens - Department of Theology
  17. ^ The Philokalia Volume Four Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). ISBN 0-571-19382-X, glossary, pg 434, Spiritual Knowledge (γνῶσις): the knowledge of the intellect (q.v.). As such, it is knowledge inspired by God, as insight (noesis) or revelational, intuitive knowledge (see gnosiology) and so linked with contemplation and immediate spiritual perception.
  18. ^ Glossary of terms from the Philokalia pg 434 the knowledge of the intellect as distinct from that of the reason(q.v.). Knowledge inspired by God, and so linked with contemplation (q.v.) and immediate spiritual perception.
  19. ^ The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 2002. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) pg 218
  20. ^ Magris 2005, p. 3515-3516.
  21. ^ The Social World of the First Christians (1995) ISBN 0-06-064586-5, essay "Prolegomena to the Study of Ancient Gnosticism" by Bentley Layton [3]

Sources

  • Magris, Aldo (2005), "Gnosticism: Gnosticism from its origins to the Middle Ages (further considerations)", in Jones, Lindsay (ed.), MacMillan Encyclopdia of Religion, MacMillan
Chaos magic

Chaos magic, also spelled chaos magick, is a contemporary magical practice. It was initially developed in England in the 1970s, drawing heavily from the philosophy of artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare. Sometimes referred to as "success magic" or "results-based magic", chaos magic claims to emphasize the attainment of specific results over the symbolic, ritualistic, theological or otherwise ornamental aspects of other occult traditions.Chaos magic has been described as a union of traditional occult techniques and applied postmodernism – particularly a postmodernist skepticism concerning the existence or knowability of objective truth. Chaos magicians subsequently treat belief as a tool, often creating their own idiosyncratic magical systems and frequently borrowing from other magical traditions, religious movements, popular culture and various strands of philosophy.Early leading figures include Peter J. Carroll and Ray Sherwin.

Dhawq

In Sufism, dhawq (tasting) is direct, first-hand experience. It refers, principally, to the Gnosis of God which is achieved experientially, as a result of rigorous empiric spiritual wayfaring. It plays an important role in the epistemology of Al-Ghazzali, and is often expressed, to some extent, in teleological statements scattered throughout his works.

Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas (Greek: Βαρνάβα Ἐπιστολή) is a Greek epistle written between 70–132 CE. It is preserved complete in the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears immediately after the New Testament and before the Shepherd of Hermas. For several centuries it was one of the "antilegomena" writings that some Christians looked on as sacred scripture, while others excluded them. Eusebius of Caesarea classified it as such. It is mentioned in a perhaps third-century list in the sixth-century Codex Claromontanus and in the later Stichometry of Nicephorus appended to the ninth-century Chronography of Nikephoros I of Constantinople. Some early Fathers of the Church ascribed it to the Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, but it is now generally attributed to an otherwise unknown early Christian teacher, perhaps of the same name. It is distinct from the Gospel of Barnabas.

Gnosis (chaos magic)

In chaos magic, "gnosis" or "the gnostic state" refers to an altered state of consciousness in which a person's mind is focused on only one point, thought, or goal and all other thoughts are thrust out. The gnostic state is used to bypass the "filter" of the conscious mind – something thought to be necessary for working most forms of magic.Since it takes years of training to master this sort of Zen-like meditative ability, chaos magicians employ a variety of other ways to attain a "brief 'no-mind' state" in which to work magic.

Gnosis (magazine)

Gnosis was an American magazine published from 1985 to 1999 devoted to the Western esoteric tradition.

Gnosis was published by the Lumen Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization incorporated in California by Jay Kinney and Dixie Tracy-Kinney to produce educational material, including a print magazine, on the Western esoteric tradition. Initial fund-raising resulted in a 5,000-copy print run of the first issue. The first issues were produced on a volunteer basis from a home office, but within three years the Lumen Foundation and Gnosis established permanent headquarters near Mission Dolores in San Francisco. In 1986, the writer Richard Smoley began contributing to the magazine and went on to become its managing editor (briefly) and then, beginning in 1990, its editor for eight years.

By 1990, Gnosis counted a circulation of 11,000 and went on to achieve a peak circulation of 16,000.

During its run, Gnosis published interviews with such significant thinkers and teachers as Huston Smith, Karen Armstrong, Graham Hancock, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Colin Wilson, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Kathleen Raine, David Steindl-Rast, Claudio Naranjo, R. J. Stewart, and June Singer. Its writers and reviewers included many notable authors in the field, such as Peter Lamborn Wilson, Stephan A. Hoeller, Kabir Helminski, Roger Walsh, Jacob Needleman, Carl W. Ernst, Charles A. Coulombe, David Fideler (founder of Phanes Press), Chas S. Clifton, Erik Davis, Robert Hand, and John and Caitlin Matthews. Each issue usually included reviews of a dozen current books on topics of interest to Gnosis readers.Although it was written for a general readership, Wouter Hanegraaff, professor of history of hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam, has observed that it "contributed considerably to the setting of academic standards in a field where university chairs or curricula devoted to Western esotericism were still absent, and which at the time [in the 1980s and 1990s] was still dominated by sensationalism and plain ignorance."The art director of issues 26 and 27 was Tony Lane.

In 1998 Gnosis won Utne Reader Alternative Press Award for "best spiritual coverage". In 1999, largely for financial reasons, Gnosis ceased publication.

Gnosticism

Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems, originating in Jewish-Christian milieux in the first and second century AD. These systems believed that the material world is created by an emanation or 'works' of a lower god (demiurge), trapping the divine spark within the human body. This divine spark could be liberated by gnosis, spiritual knowledge acquired through direct experience. Some of the core teachings include the following:

All matter is evil, and the non-material, spirit-realm is good.

There is an unknowable God, who gave rise to many lesser spirit beings called Aeons.

The creator of the (material) universe is not the supreme god, but an inferior spirit (the Demiurge).

Gnosticism does not deal with "sin," only ignorance.

To achieve salvation, one needs gnosis (knowledge).The Gnostic ideas and systems flourished in the Mediterranean world in the second century AD, in conjunction with and influenced by the early Christian movements and Middle Platonism. After the second century, a decline set in. In the Persian Empire, Gnosticism in the form of Manicheism spread as far as China, while Mandaeism is still alive in Iraq.

A major question in scholarly research is the qualification of Gnosticism, based on the study of its texts, as either an interreligious phenomenon or as an independent religion.

Gnosticism in modern times

Gnosticism in modern times includes a variety of contemporary religious movements, stemming from Gnostic ideas and systems from ancient Roman society. Gnosticism is an ancient name for a variety of religious ideas and systems, originating in Jewish-Christian milieux in the first and second century CE.

The Mandaeans are an ancient Gnostic sect still active in Iran and Iraq with small communities in other parts of the world.

The late 19th century saw the publication of popular sympathetic studies making use of recently rediscovered source materials. In this period there was also the revival of a Gnostic religious movement in France. The emergence of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 greatly increased the amount of source material available. Its translation into English and other modern languages in 1977 resulted in a wide dissemination, and as a result had observable influence on several modern figures, and upon modern Western culture in general. This article attempts to summarize those modern figures and movements that have been influenced by Gnosticism, both prior and subsequent to the Nag Hammadi discovery.

A number of ecclesiastical bodies that identify as Gnostic have set up or re-founded since World War II as well, including the Ecclesia Gnostica, Johannite Church, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the Thomasine Church, (not to be confused with the St. Thomas Christians of India) the Alexandrian Gnostic Church, and the North American College of Gnostic Bishops.

Irfan

In Islam, ‘Irfaan (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: عرفان; Turkish: İrfan), also spelt Irfaan and Erfan, literally ‘knowledge, awareness, wisdom’, is gnosis. Islamic mysticism can be considered as a vast range that engulfs theoretical and practical and conventional mysticism and has been intertwined with sufism and in some cases they are assumed identical. However, Islamic mysticism is assumed as one of the Islamic sciences alongside theology and philosophy. Islamic’s mysticism is cognition and knowledge that love has been intertwined through it with structure of revelation in Islam.

Jay Kinney

Jay Kinney (born 1950) is an American author, editor, and former underground cartoonist. A member, along with Skip Williamson, Jay Lynch and R. Crumb, of the original Bijou Funnies crew, Kinney also edited Young Lust, a satire of romance comics, in the early 1970s with Bill Griffith. He later founded the political comic Anarchy Comics, which was published sporadically by Last Gasp between 1978 and 1987.

Though a member of the first wave of the American underground comix movement, Kinney largely moved away from cartooning after the 1980s, first as editor of CoEvolution Quarterly from 1983 to 1984, and then as publisher and editor in chief of the magazine Gnosis from 1985 to 1999. Since the end of Gnosis, Kinney has written two books and edited an anthology, all focusing on aspects of Western esoteric traditions.

KeyKOS

KeyKOS is a persistent, pure capability-based operating system for the IBM S/370 mainframe computers. It allows emulating the VM, MVS, and POSIX environments. It is a predecessor of the Extremely Reliable Operating System (EROS), and its successors, the CapROS and Coyotos operating systems. KeyKOS is a nanokernel-based operating system.The development of KeyKOS started under the name GNOSIS in Tymshare, Inc. during the 1970s and continued under the name KeyKOS after being bought by Key Logic.

Mandaeism

Mandaeism or Mandaeanism (Arabic: مندائية‎ Mandāʼīyah) is a gnostic religion with a strongly dualistic cosmology. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, Aram, and especially John the Baptist. The Mandaeans are Semites and speak a dialect of Eastern Aramaic known as Mandaic. The name 'Mandaean' is said to come from the Aramaic manda meaning "knowledge", as does Greek gnosis. Within the Middle East, but outside of their community, the Mandaeans are more commonly known as the Ṣubba (singular: Ṣubbī) or Sabians. The term Ṣubba is derived from the Aramaic root related to baptism, the neo-Mandaic is Ṣabi. In Islam, the "Sabians" (Arabic: الصابئون‎ al-Ṣābiʾūn) are described several times in the Qur'an as People of the Book, alongside Jews and Christians. Occasionally, Mandaeans are called "Christians of Saint John".According to most scholars, Mandaeaism originated sometime in the first three centuries AD, in either southwestern Mesopotamia or the Syro-Palestinian area. However, some scholars take the view that Mandaeanism is older and dates from pre-Christian times.The religion has been practised primarily around the lower Karun, Euphrates and Tigris and the rivers that surround the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, part of southern Iraq and Khuzestan Province in Iran. There are thought to be between 60,000 and 70,000 Mandaeans worldwide. Until the 2003 Iraq war, almost all of them lived in Iraq. Many Mandaean Iraqis have since fled their country because of the turmoil created by the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation by U.S. armed forces, and the related rise in sectarian violence by Muslim extremists. By 2007, the population of Mandaeans in Iraq had fallen to approximately 5,000.The Mandaeans have remained separate and intensely private. Reports of them and of their religion have come primarily from outsiders: particularly from Julius Heinrich Petermann, a scholar in Iranian studies, as well as from Nicolas Siouffi, a Syrian Christian who was the French vice-consul in Mosul in 1887, and British cultural anthropologist Lady E. S. Drower. There is an early if highly prejudiced account by the French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier from the 1650s.

Moravian traditional music

Moravian traditional music or Moravian folk music represents a part of the European musical culture connected with the Moravian region of the Czech Republic. Styles of Moravian traditional music vary by location and subject, but much of it is characterized by a specific melodic and harmonic texture related to the Eastern European musical world. According to Czech musicologist Jiří Plocek, Moravia is the area where the European East musically meets the West.Moravian folk bands are mainly centered on a string section and a large cimbalom, which are often complemented by other instruments. Moravian traditional music influenced Czech classical composers, such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček, who was at the forefront of the Moravian folklore movement. Towards the end of the 20th century, Moravian folk music had a noticeable influence on the Czech jazz scene, and folk songs have been adapted into rock bands' repretoires. Today, there are many festivals still held throughout Moravia with performances from traditional bands and dance ensembles.

Muraqabah

Murāqabah (ar. to observe) refers to meditation in Sufi terminology. Through murāqbah a person watches over their (spiritual) heart and gains insight into the heart’s relation with its creator and its own surroundings. Murqābah is a core concept in commonly found ṭarīqas (ar. sufi orders). The objective of murāqbah is to purge one's base characters and develop lofty character in its place.

On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis

On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis (Ancient Greek : Ἔλεγχος καὶ ἀνατροπὴ τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως), sometimes called Adversus Haereses, is a work of Christian theology written in Greek about the year 180 by Irenaeus, the bishop of Lugdunum (now Lyon in France).

In it, Irenaeus identifies and describes several schools of gnosticism and contrasts their beliefs with his description of orthodox Christianity.

Sol Bianca

Sol Bianca (ソルビアンカ, Sorubianka) is a two-volume original video animation (OVA) anime series released in 1990 and 1991 by director Katsuhito Akiyama in association with AIC. Sol Bianca: The Legacy is a remake of this series.

The name of the OVA is also the name of the ship that serves as both the home and the interstellar headquarters for an all-female band of notorious pirates. Thanks to a stowaway who hides himself aboard their ship following one of their raids, they learn of the ultimate treasure: the Gnosis (pronounced "G'Nohsis" in dialogue), an artifact reputedly from old Earth itself.

Unfortunately for them, the Gnosis happens to be in the hands of Emperor Batros, the brutal ruler of the planet Tres (pronounced "trez" in dialogue) who is executing great numbers of enemies, real or speculated, as a result of his military occupation of the neighboring planet Uno. Armed with a little luck, a sniper gun that can shoot from orbit, and a technologically advanced ship, the crew of the Sol Bianca are about to make a run for the greatest prize of all.

Valentinianism

Valentinianism was one of the major Gnostic Christian movements. Founded by Valentinus in the second century AD, its influence spread widely, not just within Rome, but also from Northwest Africa to Egypt through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east.Later in the movement's history it broke into an Eastern and a Western school. Disciples of Valentinus continued to be active into the 4th century AD, after the Roman Empire was declared to be Christian.Valentinus and the Gnostic movement that bore his name were considered threats to proto-orthodox Christianity by church leaders and scholars, not only because of their influence, but also because of their doctrine, practices and beliefs. Gnostics were condemned as heretics, and prominent Church fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Hippolytus of Rome wrote against Gnosticism. Most evidence for the Valentinian theory comes from its critics and detractors, most notably Irenaeus, since he was especially concerned with refuting Valentinianism.

Xenosaga

Xenosaga is a role-playing video game series developed by Monolith Soft and primarily published by Namco. Forming part of the wider Xeno metaseries, Xenosaga is set in a science fiction universe and follows a group of characters as they face both a hostile alien race called the Gnosis and human factions fighting for control of the Zohar, an artifact connected to a god-like energy called U-DO. Gameplay across the series is similar, with the characters being guided through a linear narrative and fighting enemies using a turn-based combat system. The party fights both on foot and in a variety of mechs.

Tetsuya Takahashi created Xenosaga as a spiritual successor to the Square-produced Xenogears, for which he founded Monolith Soft with help from Namco; multiple Xenogears staff returned, including co-writer Soraya Saga. Following the release of the first game, the Xenosaga series was given over to new staff with Takahashi both supervising the project and providing the draft scripts. Under the new staff, the original script saw several changes and its planned six-part structure cut down by half. The series made considerable use of Biblical mythology and elements of the works of Carl Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche, with the subtitles of the main trilogy drawing from the works of Nietzsche.

Reception of individual titles has been positive, although journalists have commented that the series was too ambitious. While the first game met with strong sales, the series as a whole was a commercial disappointment. The first game also received both a manga and an anime adaptation, the latter being dubbed and released in North America. Following the end of the Xenosaga series, Takahashi and other team members started a new project to rebuild morale, which became Xenoblade Chronicles. Characters from Xenosaga would go on to appear in multiple crossover games.

Xenosaga Episode I

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht is a role-playing video game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Namco for the PlayStation 2; the game was released in 2002 in Japan and 2003 in North America. It is the first entry in the Xenosaga trilogy, and forms part of the wider Xeno metaseries. Gameplay features exploration of environments through a linear narrative, while battles use turn-based combat with the player characters fighting both on foot and piloting large mecha dubbed A.G.W.S.; combat in turn features a system of button combinations for attack types, and multiple leveling systems.

Set far in the future when humanity has left Earth, the plot follows Shion Uzuki, an employee of Vector Industries; and KOS-MOS, a battle android design to fight the hostile alien Gnosis. Forced to escape a Gnosis attack and head for the planet of Second Miltia, Shion and KOS-MOS are pulled into a fight between the Galaxy Federation and the hostile U-TIC Organization. With others who join them as they head to safety, they face a deeper mystery surrounding U-TIC's goals and the plans of the immortal Albedo Piazzolla.

Development began in 2000 under the codename "Project X" following the founding of Monolith Soft. Intended as a spiritual successor to the 1998 video game Xenogears, multiple staff were carried over including director and co-writer Tetsuya Takahashi, co-writer Soraya Saga, character designer Kunihiko Tanaka, and composer Yasunori Mitsuda. The game received generally positive reviews from critics and sold over one million copies worldwide. Its direct sequel, Xenosaga Episode II, was released in 2004 in Japan and 2005 overseas. The final Xenosaga game, Xenosaga Episode III, was released in 2006. The game received an anime adaptation which aired in 2005, and was re-imagined along with Episode II as part of Xenosaga I & II for the Nintendo DS.

 
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Proto-Gnostics
Early Gnosticism
Syrian-Egyptic Gnosticism
Persian Gnosticism
Gnosticism in the Middle Ages
Gnosticism in modern times
Gnostic texts
Gnostic Gospels
Important concepts
Related articles

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