By Nicola Denzey Lewis

In 'Cosmology and destiny in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity,' Nicola Denzey Lewis dismisses Hans Jonas' mischaracterization of second-century Gnosticism as a philosophically-oriented spiritual stream equipped at the conception of the cosmos as destructive or enslaving. A centred examine at the proposal of astrological destiny in “Gnostic” writings together with the Apocryphon of John, the recently-discovered Gospel of Judas, Trimorphic Protennoia, and the Pistis Sophia, this booklet reexamines their language of “enslavement to destiny (Gk: heimarmene)” from its origins in Greek Stoicism, its deployment by means of the apostle Paul, to its later use by way of quite a few second-century intellectuals (both Christian and non-Christian). Denzey Lewis therefore deals an educated and revisionist conceptual map of the traditional cosmos, its effect, and all those that claimed to be freed from its almost certainly pernicious results.

Show description

Read Online or Download Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, Volume 81) PDF

Best philosophy books

Mr g: A Novel About the Creation

“As I be mindful, I had simply woken up from a snooze whilst i made a decision to create the universe. ”
So starts off Alan Lightman’s playful and profound new novel, Mr g, the tale of construction as advised by means of God. Barraged by way of the consistent advisements and bickerings of Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva, who stay with their nephew within the shimmering Void, Mr g proceeds to create time, area, and topic. Then come stars, planets, animate topic, awareness, and, eventually, clever beings with ethical dilemmas. Mr g is all strong yet no longer all figuring out and does a lot of his invention via trial and error.

Even the best-laid plans can cross awry, and Mr g discovers that together with his production of area and time come a few unexpected consequences—especially within the kind of the mysterious Belhor, a smart and devious rival. An highbrow equivalent to Mr g, Belhor delights in upsetting him: Belhor calls for a proof for the inexplicable, requests that the newly created clever creatures no longer be topic to rational legislation, and continues the need of evil. As Mr g watches his favourite universe develop into adulthood, he starts off to appreciate how the act of construction can switch himself, the Creator.

With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, combining technology, theology, and ethical philosophy, Mr g is a stunningly creative paintings that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of lifestyles at the grandest attainable scale.

Badiou: A Philosophy of the New

Alain Badiou is among the best philosophers on the planet at the present time. His ground-breaking philosophy relies on an inventive analyzing of set conception, delivering a brand new figuring out of what it capacity to be human through selling an “intelligence of change”. Badiou’s philosophical method makes our means for revolution and novelty relevant to who we're, and develops a moral place that goals to make us much less apprehensive approximately this very potential.

Nietzsche's System

This ebook argues, opposed to fresh interpretations, that Nietzsche does in truth have a metaphysical system--but that this can be to his credits. instead of renouncing philosophy's conventional undertaking, he nonetheless aspires to discover and nation crucial truths, either descriptive and valuative, approximately us and the area.

Hitler’s Philosophers

Hitler had a dream to rule the realm, not just with the gun but in addition together with his brain. He observed himself as a “philosopher-leader” and astonishingly won the aid of many intellectuals of his time. during this compelling publication, Yvonne Sherratt explores Hitler’s dating with philosophers and uncovers cruelty, ambition, violence, and betrayal the place least expected—at the center of Germany’s ivory tower.

Extra resources for Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, Volume 81)

Example text

Cosmic Pessimism and the History of Religions School in Germany The perspective expressed by French and English scholars—that the people of Greek and Roman antiquity were terrorized by specters of their own creation—also reflects the earlier scholarship of the influential religionsgeschichtliche Schule of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 37 The religionsgeschichtliche Schule had first developed the idea that ‘cosmic pessimism’ pervaded the worldview of Rome from Babylonian or Iranian religion by way of Gnosticism.

One treatise from Nag Hammadi, The Hypostasis of the Archons (NHC II, 4) begins with a quotation of Ephesians 6:12. But Hypostasis of the Archons remains undated and undatable; even if it could have reasonably been composed in the third century, it still never precisely equates the “cosmic powers of the darkness” with astral fate. ”28 Here, his prevarication is revealing: far from being a prominent theme, the rhetoric of an inexorable, enslaving Fate is strikingly rare among extant primary source composed during the first four centuries.

3 Jonas believed that the gnostics, like the Stoics, had borrowed their concept of heimarmene from astrology. But unlike its Stoic 1 2 3 Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, 261. See also 254–255. Jonas, Gnostic Religion, 259. Jonas, Gnostic Religion, 254. 7 Jonas understood gnostic heimarmene as a grotesque perversion, or perhaps an inversion, of Stoic pronoia, and thus a manifestation of religious Angst in the Age of Anxiety. His assessment would have resounding effects on Gnostic studies. Long after Jonas had put down his pen, Kurt Rudolph summarized ‘the’ Gnostic perspective: The whole worldview of Late Antiquity, with its idea of heimarmene which dominates the gods, the world, and men, is here as if bracketed together and marked with a negative sign.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.11 of 5 – based on 32 votes