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Gnosticism

  • Date Submitted: 01/27/2010 11:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.9 
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Gnosticism in contrast to Christianity and Judaism



Gnosticism is one of the oldest known religions, and its origin is traced back to 539 B.C.   Gnostics have been harshly criticized since the beginning of their religion, and Gnosticism has adapted to different cultures’ beliefs throughout history (Arendzen).   The term “gnosis” means “knowledge,” the basis of Gnosticism.   However, Gnosticism is not based on factual or rational thought.   Instead, it is based on the relational knowledge of God, and it also heavily focuses on the divine and spiritual nature within oneself (“Gnosticism”).   Although it is difficult to define Gnosticism, one of the best definitions describes it as a mixture of “rites and myths from a variety of religious traditions, combining Occultism, Oriental mysticism, astrology, magic, elements of Jewish tradition, Christian views of redemption, and even aspects of Plato’s doctrine…” (What).   Gnostics believe that they are “chosen” by the true God to know the “real” truth, and they have an interesting but often contradictory view of the origin of life and life after death, in comparison to Judaism and Christianity.

The Gnostic Creation myth varies greatly from the Christian Creation myth, in the facet that they do not believe that God created the world.   Gnostics believe that the true God has a feminine side which represents the Spirit part of God and is referred to as Sophia.   The true God and Sophia had intimate relations, and from these relations Jesus was born.   The true God, Sophia, and Jesus are believed to be the Holy Trinity, contradictory to Christian belief.   Because Jesus was in the same form as the true God, Sophia wanted to create a being in her image.   She pursued the idea without permission from the true God, but when he (later named Demiurge) was born, he was imperfect so she hid him in the clouds from the other immortals.   Even though he was born imperfect, Demiurge was born with some power from Sophia, and he...

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  1. 97 A
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    • Apr 04, 2010 - Evaluator: (neffct)
    • Used parts of this paper. Great work, got a 97 A