359 relations: Absolute (philosophy), Acts of Thomas, Adam and Eve, Adolf von Harnack, Adoptionism, Aeon, Aeon (Gnosticism), Afghanistan, Ahura Mazda, Albert Camus, Albert Pike, Albigensian Crusade, Aleister Crowley, Alexandria, Alfred North Whitehead, Allen Ginsberg, Allogenes, Anatolia, Angel, Angra Mainyu, Anthropogeny, Anti-Judaism, Antoninus Pius, Apocalypse of Adam, Apocalypse of Thomas, Apocalypticism, Apocryphon of John, Apophatic theology, Apostles, Aramaic language, Archon, Archon (Gnosticism), Archontics, Arianism, Arthur Schopenhauer, Asōristān, Ascension of Isaiah, Asceticism, Athanasius of Alexandria, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Babylonia, Barbelo, Basilideans, Basilides, Beliefnet, Bentley Layton, Biblical canon, Bishop, Bogomilism, Book of Revelation, ..., Book of Thomas the Contender, Borborites, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Byzantine Empire, Cain and Abel, Cainites, Carl Jung, Carpocrates, Carthage, Catharism, Catholic Church, Celia Green, Cerinthus, Charisma, Charles William King, Christ myth theory, Christendom, Christian biblical canons, Christianity, Chronos, Church (congregation), Church Fathers, Clement of Alexandria, Codex, Cognitive science of religion, Comparison (grammar), Contra Celsum, Coptic language, Cosmology, Creed, Dalmatia, Demiurge, Divine spark, Docetism, Dositheos (Samaritan), Dualistic cosmology, Dystheism, Earl Doherty, Early Christianity, Easter letter, Eastern Christianity, Ebionites, Ecclesia Gnostica, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, Eduard Norden, Edward Conze, Egypt, El (deity), Elaine Pagels, Elcesaites, Emanationism, Encyclopædia Britannica, Ennead, Epiphanius of Salamis, Episcopal polity, Epistle to the Colossians, Epistle to the Ephesians, Epistle to the Romans, Esau, Essenes, Euhemerism, Euphrates, Existential phenomenology, Festschrift, First Apology of Justin Martyr, First Bulgarian Empire, G. 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Dick, Philo, Physical universe, Plato, Plotinus, Plutarch, Pneumatic (Gnosticism), Point (geometry), Polytheism, Prajñā (Buddhism), Princeton University, Priscillianism, Provence, Psalms of Thomas, Pseudepigrapha, Pseudo-Plutarch, Psyche (psychology), Ptolemy (gnostic), Pythagoreanism, Q source, Qolusta, Rūḥ, Refutation of All Heresies, Religious cosmology, Renaissance, René Guénon, Republic (Plato), Rethinking "Gnosticism", Richard August Reitzenstein, Rodney Stark, Roman emperor, Roman Empire, Rudolf Bultmann, Saint Peter, Saint Thomas Christians, Samael, Samaria, Sarkic, Sasanian Empire, Satan, Sect, Self in Jungian psychology, Semitic people, Seth, Sethianism, Shabuhragan, Shakha, Shapur I, Shatt al-Arab, Simon Magus, Simonians, Sinop, Turkey, Social alienation, Social environment, Socrates, Sodom and Gomorrah, Spain, Spirituality, Statesman (dialogue), Steven Bayme, Stratiotici, Stromata, Sufism, Sulpicius Severus, Supreme Being, Syncretism, Syriac language, Tawhid, Tertullian, The Enneads, The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, The Shepherd of Hermas, The World as Will and Representation, Thelema, Theudas (teacher of Valentinius), Third Heaven, Thomas the Apostle, Thrownness, Thyatira, Tigris, Timaeus (dialogue), Torah, Traditionalist School, Treatise, Uyghur Khaganate, Valentinianism, Valentinus (Gnostic), Vishnu, W. B. Yeats, Western esotericism, Wicca, Wilhelm Bousset, Wisdom (personification), Yahweh, Yale University Press, Zohar, Zoroastrianism, Zostrianos, Zurvanism. Expand index (309 more) » « Shrink index
In philosophy, the concept of The Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, and other names, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc.
The early 3rd-century text called Acts of Thomas is one of the New Testament apocrypha.
Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman.
Carl Gustav Adolf von Harnack (7 May 1851 – 10 June 1930) was a German Lutheran theologian and prominent church historian.
Adoptionism, sometimes called dynamic monarchianism, is a nontrinitarian theological doctrine which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension.
The word aeon, also spelled eon (in American English) and æon, originally meant "life", "vital force" or "being", "generation" or "a period of time", though it tended to be translated as "age" in the sense of "ages", "forever", "timeless" or "for eternity".
In many Gnostic systems, various emanations of "God" are known by such names as One, Monad, Aion teleos (αἰών τέλεος "The Broadest Aeon"), Bythos ("depth or profundity", βυθός), Proarkhe ("before the beginning", προαρχή), Arkhe ("the beginning", ἀρχή), and Aeons.
Afghanistan (Pashto/Dari:, Pashto: Afġānistān, Dari: Afġānestān), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia.
Ahura Mazda (also known as Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, Harzoo and Hurmuz) is the Avestan name for the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism, the old Iranian religion that spread across the Middle East, before ultimately being relegated to small minorities after the Muslim conquest of Iran.
Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist.
Albert Pike (December 29, 1809 – April 2, 1891) was an American attorney, soldier, writer, and Freemason.
The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade (1209–1229) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in southern France.
Aleister Crowley (born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer.
Alexandria (or; Arabic: الإسكندرية; Egyptian Arabic: إسكندرية; Ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ; Ⲣⲁⲕⲟⲧⲉ) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country.
Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher.
Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet, philosopher, writer, and activist.
Allogenes is a repertoire, or genre, of mystical Gnostic texts dating from the first half of the Third Century, CE.
Anatolia (Modern Greek: Ανατολία Anatolía, from Ἀνατολή Anatolḗ,; "east" or "rise"), also known as Asia Minor (Medieval and Modern Greek: Μικρά Ἀσία Mikrá Asía, "small Asia"), Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula, or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey.
An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies.
Angra Mainyu (Avestan: Aŋra Mainiiu) is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit".
Anthropogeny is the study of human origins.
Anti-Judaism is the "total or partial opposition to Judaism—and to Jews as adherents of it—by persons who accept a competing system of beliefs and practices and consider certain genuine Judaic beliefs and practices as inferior." Anti-Judaism, as a rejection of a particular way of thinking about God, is distinct from antisemitism, which is more akin to a form of racism.
Antoninus Pius (Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius; 19 September 867 March 161 AD), also known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 138 to 161.
The Apocalypse of Adam, discovered at Nag Hammadi, is a Sethian tractate of Apocalyptic literature dating to the first to second century AD.
The Apocalypse of Thomas is a work from the New Testament apocrypha, apparently composed originally in Greek.
Apocalypticism is the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation, but now usually refers to the belief that the end of the world is imminent, even within one's own lifetime.
The Secret Book of John, also called the Apocryphon of John, is a second-century Sethian Gnostic Christian text of secret teachings.
Apophatic theology, also known as negative theology, is a form of theological thinking and religious practice which attempts to approach God, the Divine, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, the apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles (also known as the Twelve Disciples or simply the Twelve), were the primary disciples of Jesus, the central figure in Christianity.
Aramaic (אַרָמָיָא Arāmāyā, ܐܪܡܝܐ, آرامية) is a language or group of languages belonging to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic language family.
Archon (ἄρχων, árchon, plural: ἄρχοντες, árchontes) is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office.
An archon, in the Gnosticism of late antiquity, was any of several servants of the Demiurge, the "creator god" that stood between the human race and a transcendent God that could only be reached through gnosis.
The Archontics, or Archontici, were a Gnostic sect that existed in Palestine and Armenia, who arose towards the close of the 2nd century CE.
Arianism is a nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, a creature distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God (i.e. God the Son).
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher.
Asōristān (𐭠𐭮𐭥𐭥𐭮𐭲𐭭 Asōrestān, Āsūrestān) was the name of the Sasanian provinces of Mesopotamia from 226 to 637.
The Ascension of Isaiah is a pseudegraphical Christian text.
Asceticism (from the ἄσκησις áskesis, "exercise, training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals.
Athanasius of Alexandria (Ἀθανάσιος Ἀλεξανδρείας; ⲡⲓⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲩ ⲡⲓⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲓⲕⲟⲥ or Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲩ ⲁ̅; c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria (as Athanasius I).
Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, commonly referred to by its German acronym, ANRW, or in English as Rise and Decline of the Roman World, is an extensive collection of books dealing with the history and culture of ancient Rome.
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq).
Barbēlō (Greek: Βαρβηλώ) refers to the first emanation of God in several forms of Gnostic cosmogony.
The Basilidians or Basilideans were a Gnostic sect founded by Basilides of Alexandria in the 2nd century.
Basilides (Greek: Βασιλείδης) was an early Christian Gnostic religious teacher in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117 to 138 AD, notes that to prove that the heretical sects were "later than the catholic Church," Clement of Alexandria assigns Christ's own teaching to the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius; that of the apostles, of St.
Beliefnet is a lifestyle website providing feature editorial content around the topics of inspiration, spirituality, health, wellness, love and family, news and entertainment.
Bentley Layton (born 12 August 1941), is Professor of Religious Studies (Ancient Christianity) and Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Coptic) at Yale University (since 1983).
A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture.
A bishop (English derivation from the New Testament of the Christian Bible Greek επίσκοπος, epískopos, "overseer", "guardian") is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
Bogomilism (Богомилство, Bogumilstvo/Богумилство) was a Christian neo-Gnostic or dualist sect founded in the First Bulgarian Empire by the priest Bogomil during the reign of Tsar Peter I in the 10th century.
The Book of Revelation, often called the Revelation to John, the Apocalypse of John, The Revelation, or simply Revelation or Apocalypse (and often misquoted as Revelations), is a book of the New Testament that occupies a central place in Christian eschatology.
The Book of Thomas the Contender, also known more simply as the Book of Thomas (not to be confused with the Gospel of Thomas), is one of the books of the New Testament apocrypha represented in the Nag Hammadi library (CG II), a cache of Gnostic gospels secreted in the Egyptian desert.
According to the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis (ch. 26), and Theodoret's Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium, the Borborites or Borborians (Βορβοριανοί; also Koddians; in Egypt, Phibionites; in other countries, Barbalites, Secundians, Socratites, etc.) were a libertine Christian Gnostic sect, said to be descended from the Nicolaitans.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Българска православна църква, Balgarska pravoslavna tsarkva) is an autocephalous Orthodox Church.
The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium).
In the biblical Book of Genesis, Cain and Abel are the first two sons of Adam and Eve.
The Cainites, or Cainians (Greek: Καϊνοί Kainoi, Καϊανοί Kaianoi), were a Gnostic and Antinomian sect who were known to venerate Cain as the first victim of the Demiurge, the deity of the Tanakh, who was identified by many groups of Gnostics as evil.
Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.
Carpocrates of Alexandria was the founder of an early Gnostic sect from the first half of the 2nd century.
Carthage (from Carthago; Punic:, Qart-ḥadašt, "New City") was the center or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia.
Catharism (from the Greek: καθαροί, katharoi, "the pure ") was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly northern Italy and what is now southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.299 billion members worldwide.
Celia Elizabeth Green (born 26 November 1935) is a British writer on philosophical skepticism and psychology.
Cerinthus (Κήρινθος; fl. c. 100 AD) was a gnostic and to some, an early Christian, who was prominent as a heresiarch in the view of the early Church Fathers.
The term charisma (pl. charismata, adj. charismatic) has two senses.
Charles William King (5 September 1818 – 25 March 1888) was a British Victorian writer and collector of gems.
The Christ myth theory (also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism, mythicism, or Jesus ahistoricity theory) is "the view that the person known as Jesus of Nazareth had no historical existence." Alternatively, in terms given by Bart Ehrman as per his criticism of mythicism, "the historical Jesus did not exist.
Christendom has several meanings.
A Christian biblical canon is the set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible.
ChristianityFrom Ancient Greek Χριστός Khristós (Latinized as Christus), translating Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ, Māšîăḥ, meaning "the anointed one", with the Latin suffixes -ian and -itas.
Chronos (Χρόνος, "time",, also transliterated as Khronos or Latinised as Chronus) is the personification of Time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature.
A church is a Christian religious organization or congregation or community that meets in a particular location.
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church are ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers.
Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria (Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215), was a Christian theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria.
A codex (from the Latin caudex for "trunk of a tree" or block of wood, book), plural codices, is a book constructed of a number of sheets of paper, vellum, papyrus, or similar materials.
Cognitive science of religion is the study of religious thought and behavior from the perspective of the cognitive and evolutionary sciences.
Comparison is a feature in the morphology or syntax of some languages, whereby adjectives and adverbs are inflected or modified to indicate the relative degree of the property defined by the adjective or adverb.
Against Celsus (Greek: Κατὰ Κέλσου; Latin: Contra Celsum), preserved entirely in Greek, is a major apologetics work by the Church Father Origen of Alexandria, written in around 248 AD, countering the writings of Celsus, a pagan philosopher and controversialist who had written a scathing attack on Christianity in his treatise The True Word.
Coptic or Coptic Egyptian (Bohairic: ti.met.rem.ən.khēmi and Sahidic: t.mənt.rəm.ən.kēme) is the latest stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century.
Cosmology (from the Greek κόσμος, kosmos "world" and -λογία, -logia "study of") is the study of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe.
A creed (also known as a confession, symbol, or statement of faith) is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.
Dalmatia (Dalmacija; see names in other languages) is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia and Istria.
In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe.
The divine spark is the idea, most common to Gnosticism but also present in other Western mystical traditions, that each human being contains within himself a portion of God.
In Christianity, docetism (from the Greek δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn (to seem) dókēsis (apparition, phantom), is the doctrine that the phenomenon of Christ, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion. The word Δοκηταί Dokētaí (illusionists) referring to early groups who denied Jesus' humanity, first occurred in a letter by Bishop Serapion of Antioch (197–203), who discovered the doctrine in the Gospel of Peter, during a pastoral visit to a Christian community using it in Rhosus, and later condemned it as a forgery. It appears to have arisen over theological contentions concerning the meaning, figurative or literal, of a sentence from the Gospel of John: "the Word was made Flesh". Docetism was unequivocally rejected at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. and is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Coptic Church and many other Christian denominations that accept and hold to the statements of these early church councils.
Dositheos (occasionally also known as Nathanael, both meaning "gift of God") was a Samaritan religious leader, founder of a Samaritan sect, often assumed to be a gnostic.
Dualism in cosmology is the moral or spiritual belief that two fundamental concepts exist, which often oppose each other.
Dystheism (from Greek δυσ- dys-, "bad" and θεός theos, "god"), is the belief that a god, goddess, or singular God is not wholly good (eutheism) as is commonly believed (such as in the monotheistic religions of Christianity and Judaism), and is possibly evil.
Earl J. Doherty (born 1941) is a Canadian author of The Jesus Puzzle (1999), Challenging the Verdict (2001), and Jesus: Neither God Nor Man (2009).
Early Christianity, defined as the period of Christianity preceding the First Council of Nicaea in 325, typically divides historically into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period (from the Apostolic Age until Nicea).
The Festal Letters or Easter Letters are a series of annual letters by which the Bishops of Alexandria, in conformity with a decision of the First Council of Nicaea, announced the date on which Easter was to be celebrated.
Eastern Christianity consists of four main church families: the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Eastern Catholic churches (that are in communion with Rome but still maintain Eastern liturgies), and the denominations descended from the Church of the East.
Ebionites (Ἐβιωναῖοι Ebionaioi, derived from Hebrew אביונים ebyonim, ebionim, meaning "the poor" or "poor ones") is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era.
The Ecclesia Gnostica (Latin for The Church of Gnosis or The Gnostic Church) is an openly Gnostic liturgical church that practices and offers its sacraments publicly.
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.), or the Gnostic Catholic Church, is a Gnostic church organization.
Eduard Norden (21 September 1868 – 13 July 1941) was a German classical philologist and historian of religion.
Eberhart (Edward) Julius Dietrich Conze (1904 – September 24, 1979) was an Anglo-German scholar probably best known for his pioneering translations of Buddhist texts.
Egypt (مِصر, مَصر, Khēmi), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.
(or ’Il, written aleph-lamed, e.g. 𐎛𐎍; 𐤀𐤋; אל; ܐܠ; إل or rtl; cognate to ilu) is a Northwest Semitic word meaning "god" or "deity", or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major Ancient Near East deities.
Elaine Pagels, née Hiesey (born February 13, 1943), is an American religious historian who writes on the Gnostic Gospels.
The Elcesaites, Elkasaites, Elkesaites or Elchasaites were an ancient Jewish Christian sect in Sassanid southern Mesopotamia.
Emanationism is an idea in the cosmology or cosmogony of certain religious or philosophical systems.
The Encyclopædia Britannica (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia"), published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia.
The Ennead or Great Ennead was a group of nine deities in Egyptian mythology worshiped at Heliopolis: the sun god Atum; his children Shu and Tefnut; their children Geb and Nut; and their children Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.
Epiphanius of Salamis (Ἐπιφάνιος; c. 310–320 – 403) was bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, at the end of the 4th century.
An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") in which the chief local authorities are called bishops.
The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, usually referred to simply as Colossians, is the twelfth book of the New Testament.
The Epistle to the Ephesians, also called the Letter to the Ephesians and often shortened to Ephesians, is the tenth book of the New Testament.
The Epistle to the Romans or Letter to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament.
Esau (ISO 259-3 ʕeśaw; Ἡσαῦ Hēsau; Hesau, Esau; عِيسُو ‘Īsaw; meaning "hairy"Easton, M. Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (2006, p. 236 or "rough"Mandel, D. The Ultimate Who's Who in the Bible, (.), 2007, p. 175), in the Hebrew Bible, is the older son of Isaac. He is mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and by the prophets Obadiah and Malachi. The New Testament alludes to him in the Epistle to the Romans and in the Epistle to the Hebrews. According to the Hebrew Bible, Esau is the progenitor of the Edomites and the elder twin brother of Jacob, the patriarch of the Israelites.Metzger & Coogan (1993). Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp. 191–92. Esau and Jacob were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, and the grandsons of Abraham and Sarah. Of the twins, Esau was the first to be born with Jacob following, holding his heel. Isaac was sixty years old when the boys were born. Esau, a "man of the field", became a hunter who had "rough" qualities that distinguished him from his twin brother. Among these qualities were his red hair and noticeable hairiness. Jacob was a shy or simple man, depending on the translation of the Hebrew word tam (which also means "relatively perfect man"). Throughout Genesis, Esau is frequently shown as being supplanted by his younger twin, Jacob (Israel).Attridge & Meeks. The Harper Collins Study Bible,, 2006, p. 40.
The Essenes (Modern Hebrew:, Isiyim; Greek: Ἐσσηνοί, Ἐσσαῖοι, or Ὀσσαῖοι, Essenoi, Essaioi, Ossaioi) were a sect of Second Temple Judaism which flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD.
Euhemerism is an approach to the interpretation of mythology in which mythological accounts are presumed to have originated from real historical events or personages.
The Euphrates (Sumerian: Buranuna; 𒌓𒄒𒉣 Purattu; الفرات al-Furāt; ̇ܦܪܬ Pǝrāt; Եփրատ: Yeprat; פרת Perat; Fırat; Firat) is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia.
Existential phenomenology is Martin Heidegger's brand of phenomenology.
In academia, a Festschrift (plural, Festschriften) is a book honoring a respected person, especially an academic, and presented during their lifetime.
The First Apology was an early work of Christian apologetics addressed by Justin Martyr to the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.
The First Bulgarian Empire (Old Bulgarian: ц︢рьство бл︢гарское, ts'rstvo bl'garskoe) was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD.
George Robert Stowe Mead (22 March 1863 in Peckham, Surrey (Nuneaton, Warwickshire?) – 28 September 1933 in London)) was an English historian, writer, editor, translator, and an influential member of the Theosophical Society, as well as the founder of the Quest Society. His scholarly works dealt mainly with the Hermetic and Gnostic religions of Late Antiquity, and were exhaustive for the time period.
Gerhard Scholem who, after his immigration from Germany to Israel, changed his name to Gershom Scholem (Hebrew: גרשום שלום) (December 5, 1897 – February 21, 1982), was a German-born Israeli philosopher and historian.
Gilles Quispel (30 May 1916 – 2 March 2006) was a Dutch theologian and historian of Christianity and Gnosticism.
The Ginza Rba or Ginza Rabba (Mandaean script-Mandaean ࡂࡉࡍࡆࡀ ࡓࡁࡀ; literally "The Great Treasury") or Siddra Rabba, "The Great Book" ("rabba", meaning great), and formerly, the Codex Nazaraeus, is the longest of the many holy scriptures of the Mandaean religion.
Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge (γνῶσις, gnôsis, f.). The term is used in various Hellenistic religions and philosophies.
The Gnostic Church of France (Église gnostique de France) is a neo-Gnostic Christian organisation formed by Jules Doinel in 1890, in France.
Gnosticism used a number of religious texts that are preserved, in part or whole, in ancient manuscripts are lost but mentioned critically in Patristic writings.
Gnosticism (from γνωστικός gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις, knowledge) is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems, originating in Jewish-Christian milieus in the first and second century AD.
Gnosticism in modern times includes a variety of contemporary religious movements, stemming from Gnostic ideas and systems from ancient Roman society.
In Islam, God (Allāh, contraction of الْإِلٰه al-ilāh, lit. "the god") is indivisible, the God, the absolute one, the all-powerful and all-knowing ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence within the universe.
The Gospel According to John is the fourth of the canonical gospels.
The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a 5th-century papyrus codex written in Sahidic Coptic.
The Gospel of the Hebrews (τὸ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον), or Gospel according to the Hebrews, was a syncretic Jewish–Christian gospel, the text of which is lost; only fragments of it survive as brief quotations by the early Church Fathers and in apocryphal writings.
The Gospel According to Thomas is an early Christian non-canonical sayings gospel that many scholars believe provides insight into the oral gospel traditions.
Mystery religions, sacred mysteries or simply mysteries were religious schools of the Greco-Roman world for which participation was reserved to initiates (mystai).
Greek (Modern Greek: ελληνικά, elliniká, "Greek", ελληνική γλώσσα, ellinikí glóssa, "Greek language") is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
The name Greek Orthodox Church (Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἑκκλησία, Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several Churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the Septuagint and New Testament, and whose history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire.
Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138 AD) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138.
Hans Heinrich Schaeder (* 31. January 1896 in Göttingen; † 13. March 1957) was a German orientalist and Iranologist.
Hans Jonas (10 May 1903 – 5 February 1993) was a German-born American Jewish philosopher, from 1955 to 1976 the Alvin Johnson Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская, Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya; 8 May 1891) was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.
The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.
Henotheism is the worship of a single god while not denying the existence or possible existence of other deities.
The Very Reverend Henry Longueville Mansel, D.D. (6 October 18201 July 1871) was an English philosopher and ecclesiastic.
Henry More (12 October 1614 – 1 September 1687) was an English philosopher of the Cambridge Platonist school.
Heracleon was a Gnostic who flourished about AD 175, probably in the south of Italy.
In theology or the history of religion, heresiology is the study of heresy, and heresiographies are writings about the topic.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization.
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period.
Hermann Karl Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born poet, novelist, and painter.
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has complete or partial reproductive organs and produces gametes normally associated with both male and female sexes.
The Hermetica are Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd century AD and later, which are mostly presented as dialogues in which a teacher, generally identified as Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-greatest Hermes"), enlightens a disciple.
Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus ("Thrice Great").
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or a way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent.
Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235 AD) was one of the most important 3rd-century theologians in the Christian Church in Rome, where he was probably born.
The historical Vedic religion (also known as Vedism, Brahmanism, Vedic Brahmanism, and ancient Hinduism) was the religion of the Indo-Aryans of northern India during the Vedic period.
The history of religions school (German Religionsgeschichtliche Schule) is a term applied to a group of German Protestant theologians associated with the University of Göttingen in the 1890s.
Human nature is a bundle of fundamental characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally.
Hylic (from Greek ύλη (hylē) "matter") is the opposite of psychic (from Greek ψυχή (psychē) "soul").
The Hymn of the Pearl (also Hymn of the Soul, Hymn of the Robe of Glory or Hymn of Judas Thomas the Apostle) is a passage of the apocryphal Acts of Thomas.
Hypostasis (Greek: ὑπόστασις) is the underlying state or underlying substance and is the fundamental reality that supports all else.
(or Eblis) is the Islamic equivalent of Satan.
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh.
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was an Hellenistic kingdom covering various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent (parts of modern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a biographical gospel about the childhood of Jesus, believed to date latest to the 2nd century or earlier.
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired.
Ioan Petru Culianu or Couliano (5 January 1950 – 21 May 1991) was a Romanian historian of religion, culture, and ideas, a philosopher and political essayist, and a short story writer.
Iraq (or; العراق; عێراق), officially known as the Republic of Iraq (جُمُهورية العِراق; کۆماری عێراق), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west.
Irenaeus (Ειρηναίος Eirēnaíos) (died about 202) was a Greek cleric noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now the south of France and, more widely, for the development of Christian theology by combatting heresy and defining orthodoxy.
Isaac Jacob Schmidt (October 4, 1779 – August 27, 1847) was an Orientalist specializing in Mongolian and Tibetan.
IslamThere are ten pronunciations of Islam in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the s is or, and whether the a is pronounced, or (when the stress is on the first syllable) (Merriam Webster).
Ismāʿīlism (الإسماعيلية al-Ismāʿīliyya; اسماعیلیان; اسماعيلي; Esmāʿīliyān) is a branch of Shia Islam.
James McConkey Robinson (June 30, 1924 – March 22, 2016) was an American scholar who served as Professor Emeritus of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.
Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 27 March 347 – 30 September 420) was a priest, confessor, theologian, and historian.
Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader.
Jewish Christians, also Hebrew Christians or Judeo-Christians, are the original members of the Jewish movement that later became Christianity.
Johann Lorenz von Mosheim or Johann Lorenz Mosheim (9 October 1693 – 9 September 1755) was a German Lutheran church historian.
John D. Turner is a professor of religious studies at the University of Nebraska.
John the Baptist (יוחנן המטביל Yokhanan HaMatbil, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs or Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτίζων, Iōánnēs ho baptízōn,Lang, Bernhard (2009) International Review of Biblical Studies Brill Academic Pub p. 380 – "33/34 CE Herod Antipas's marriage to Herodias (and beginning of the ministry of Jesus in a sabbatical year); 35 CE – death of John the Baptist" ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ ⲡⲓⲡⲣⲟⲇⲣⲟⲙⲟⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ ⲡⲓⲣϥϯⲱⲙⲥ, يوحنا المعمدان) was a Jewish itinerant preacherCross, F. L. (ed.) (2005) Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed.
John the Evangelist (Εὐαγγελιστής Ἰωάννης, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John.
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish-language literature.
Joseph Dan (יוסף דן, born 1935) is an Israeli scholar of Jewish mysticism.
The Journal of Higher Criticism was an academic journal covering issues "dealing with historical, literary, and history-of-religion issues from the perspective of higher criticism", published by the Institute for Higher Critical Studies.
Judaism (originally from Hebrew, Yehudah, "Judah"; via Latin and Greek) is the religion of the Jewish people.
Jules-Benoît Stanislas Doinel du Val-Michel (December 8, 1842, Moulins, Allier – March 16 or 17, 1903), also simply Jules Doinel, was an archivist and the founder of the first Gnostic church in modern times.
Justin Martyr (Latin: Iustinus Martyr) was an early Christian apologist, and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century.
Kabbalah (קַבָּלָה, literally "parallel/corresponding," or "received tradition") is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism.
The Kārūn (کارون) is Iran's most effluent and only navigable river.
Kathenotheism is a term coined by the philologist Max Müller to mean the worship of one god at a time.
Valentinius, a mid-2nd century Gnostic thinker and preacher, was among the early Christians who attempted to align Christianity with middle Platonism.
Khuzestan Province (استان خوزستان Ostān-e Khūzestān, محافظة خوزستان Muḥāfaẓa Khūzistān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran.
Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.
Korah or Kórach (Hebrew: קֹרַח, Standard Qóraḥ Tiberian Qōraḥ; "Baldness; ice; hail; frost", Arabic: قارون Qārūn) is a name which is associated with at least two men in the Hebrew Bible.
Latin (Latin: lingua latīna) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages.
Lawrence George Durrell (27 February 1912 – 7 November 1990) was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer.
Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany.
A libertine is one devoid of most moral or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society.
The notion of line or straight line was introduced by ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects (i.e., having no curvature) with negligible width and depth.
This is a list of notable people who have been said to be a messiah, either by themselves or by their followers.
Logos (lógos; from λέγω) is a term in Western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion derived from a Greek word variously meaning "ground", "plea", "opinion", "expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "reason", "proportion", and "discourse",Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott,: logos, 1889.
Mahāyāna (Sanskrit for "Great Vehicle") is one of two (or three, if Vajrayana is counted separately) main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice.
Mandaeans (aṣ-Ṣābi'a al-Mandā'iyūn) are an ethnoreligious group indigenous to the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia and are followers of Mandaeism, a Gnostic religion.
Mandaeism or Mandaeanism (مندائية) is a gnostic religion with a strongly dualistic worldview.
Mandaic is the language of the Mandaean religion and community.
Mani (in Middle Persian Māni, New Persian: مانی Māni, Syriac Mānī, Greek Μάνης, Latin Manes; also Μανιχαῖος, Latin Manichaeus, from Syriac ܡܐܢܝ ܚܝܐ Mānī ḥayyā "Living Mani"), of Iranian origin, was the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was widespread but no longer prevalent by name.
Manichaean script is an abjad-based writing system rooted in the Semitic family of alphabets and associated with the spread of Manichaean religion from southwest to central Asia and beyond, beginning in the 3rd century CE.
Manichaeism (in Modern Persian آیین مانی Āyin-e Māni) was a major religious movement that was founded by the Iranian prophet Mani (in مانی, Syriac: ܡܐܢܝ, Latin: Manichaeus or Manes from Μάνης; 216–276) in the Sasanian Empire.
Marcellina was one of the few female Christian leaders in 2nd-century Rome.
Marcion of Sinope (Greek: Μαρκίων Σινώπης; c. 85 – c. 160) was an important figure in early Christianity.
Marcus was the founder of the Marcosian Gnostic sect in the 2nd century AD.
Marvin W. Meyer (April 16, 1948 – August 16, 2012) was a scholar of religion and a tenured professor at Chapman University, in Orange, California.
Saint Mary Magdalene, sometimes called simply the Magdalene, was a Jewish woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Memphis (مَنْف; ⲙⲉⲙϥⲓ; Μέμφις) was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt.
Menander (Μένανδρος Menandros; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy.
Menander (Μένανδρος) was a first-century CE Samaritan gnostic, magician and a leader of the Simonians following the death of his master and instructor, Simon Magus, who was in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius.
Merkabah/Merkavah mysticism (or Chariot mysticism) is a school of early Jewish mysticism, c. 100 BCE – 1000 CE, centered on visions such as those found in the Book of Ezekiel chapter 1, or in the hekhalot ("palaces") literature, concerning stories of ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God.
Messina (Sicilian: Missina; Messana, Μεσσήνη) is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina.
Michel Weber is a Belgian philosopher, born in Brussels in 1963.
Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC – when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected the scepticism of the New Academy – until the development of Neoplatonism under Plotinus in the 3rd century.
Mimesis (μίμησις (mīmēsis), from μιμεῖσθαι (mīmeisthai), "to imitate", from μῖμος (mimos), "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the presentation of the self.
Misotheism is the "hatred of God" or "hatred of the gods" (from the Greek adjective μισόθεος "hating the gods", a compound of μῖσος "hatred" and θεός "god").
Mithraism, also known as the Mithraic mysteries, was a mystery religion centered around the god Mithras that was practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century CE.
The Monad in early Christian gnostic writings is an adaptation of concepts of the Monad in Greek philosophy to Christian gnostic belief systems.
Monad (from Greek μονάς monas, "singularity" in turn from μόνος monos, "alone"), refers in cosmogony (creation theories) to the first being, divinity, or the totality of all beings.
Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence.
Monolatry (Greek: μόνος (monos).
Morton Smith (May 28, 1915 – July 11, 1991) Neusner, Jacob, Christianity, Judaism, and other Greco-Roman Cults.
Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them.
Mythology refers variously to the collected myths of a group of people or to the study of such myths.
The Naassenes (Greek Naasseni, possibly from Hebrew נָחָשׁ naḥash, snake) were a Christian Gnostic sect known only through the writings of Hippolytus of Rome.
Nablus (نابلس, שכם, Biblical Shechem ISO 259-3 Škem, Νεάπολις Νeapolis) is a city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, (approximately by road), with a population of 126,132.
The Nag Hammadi library (also known as the "Chenoboskion Manuscripts" and the "Gnostic Gospels") is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945.
The name of God most often used in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton (YHWH). It is frequently anglicized as Jehovah and Yahweh and written in most English editions of the Bible as "the " owing to the Jewish tradition viewing the divine name as increasingly too sacred to be uttered.
Narasimha (Sanskrit: नरसिंह IAST: Narasiṃha, lit. man-lion) is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, one who incarnates in the form of part lion and part man to destroy an evil, end religious persecution and calamity on Earth, thereby restoring Dharma.
The National Book Foundation (NBF) is an American nonprofit organization established "to raise the cultural appreciation of great writing in America".
The Nazarenes originated as a sect of first-century Judaism.
Neoplatonism is a term used to designate a strand of Platonic philosophy that began with Plotinus in the third century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion.
Neopythagoreanism (or Neo-Pythagoreanism) was a school of Hellenistic philosophy which revived Pythagorean doctrines.
Nicolaism (also Nicholaism, Nicolaitism, Nicolationism, or Nicolaitanism) is a Christian heresy first mentioned (twice) in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament, whose adherents were called Nicolaitans, Nicolaitanes, or Nicolaites.
The Nile River (النيل, Egyptian Arabic en-Nīl, Standard Arabic an-Nīl; ⲫⲓⲁⲣⲱ, P(h)iaro; Ancient Egyptian: Ḥ'pī and Jtrw; Biblical Hebrew:, Ha-Ye'or or, Ha-Shiḥor) is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, and is commonly regarded as the longest river in the world, though some sources cite the Amazon River as the longest.
In Abrahamic religions, Noah was the tenth and last of the pre-Flood Patriarchs.
Norea is a figure in Gnostic cosmology.
The Odic force (also called Od, Odyle, Önd, Odes, Odylic, Odyllic, or Odems) is the name given in the mid-19th century to a hypothetical vital energy or life force by Baron Carl von Reichenbach.
The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God.
Omnibenevolence (from Latin omni- meaning "all", bene- meaning "good" and volens meaning "willing") is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence".
Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited power.
Omniscience, mainly in religion, is the capacity to know everything that there is to know.
Omnism is the recognition and respect of all religions; those who hold this belief are called omnists (or Omnists).
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).
The Ophites or Ophians (Greek Ὀφιανοί Ophianoi, from ὄφις ophis "snake") were members of a Christian Gnostic sect depicted by Hippolytus of Rome (170–235) in a lost work, the Syntagma ("arrangement").
Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) ('Order of the Temple of the East' or 'Order of Oriental Templars') is an international fraternal and religious organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Carl Kellner and Theodor Reuss.
Origen of Alexandria (184 – 253), also known as Origen Adamantius, was a Hellenistic scholar, ascetic, and early Christian theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria.
Orthodoxy (from Greek ὀρθοδοξία orthodoxía "right opinion") is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion.
Ousia (οὐσία) is analogous to the English concepts of being and ontic used in contemporary philosophy.
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after Cambridge University Press.
Saint Pachomius (Παχώμιος, ca. 292–348), also known as Pachome and Pakhomius, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.
Papyrus is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface.
Parmenides of Elea (Παρμενίδης ὁ Ἐλεάτης) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia (Greater Greece, included Southern Italy).
The Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq.
Paul the Apostle (Paulus; translit, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; c. 5 – c. 64 or 67), commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus (translit; Saũlos Tarseús), was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of the Christ to the first century world.
Paulicians (Պաւղիկեաններ, Pawłikeanner; Παυλικιανοί; Arab sources: Baylakānī, al Bayālika)Nersessian, Vrej (1998).
Perennial philosophy (philosophia perennis), also referred to as Perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.
Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his work in science fiction.
Philo of Alexandria (Phílōn; Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt.
In religion and esotericism, the term "physical universe" or "material universe" is used to distinguish the physical matter of the universe from a proposed spiritual or supernatural essence.
Plato (Πλάτων Plátōn, in Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.
Plotinus (Πλωτῖνος; – 270) was a major Greek-speaking philosopher of the ancient world.
Plutarch (Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhos,; c. CE 46 – CE 120), later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, (Λούκιος Μέστριος Πλούταρχος) was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia.
The pneumatics ("spiritual", from Greek πνεῦμα, "spirit") were, in Gnosticism, the highest order of humans, the other two orders being psychics and hylics ("matter").
In modern mathematics, a point refers usually to an element of some set called a space.
Polytheism (from Greek πολυθεϊσμός, polytheismos) is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals.
Prajñā (Sanskrit) or paññā (Pāli) "wisdom" is insight in the true nature of reality, namely primarily anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction or suffering), anattā (non-self) and śūnyatā (emptiness).
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey.
Priscillianism is a Christian belief system developed in the Iberian Peninsula (the Roman Hispania) in the 4th century by Priscillian, derived from the Gnostic-Manichaean doctrines taught by Marcus, an Egyptian from Memphis, and later considered a heresy by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
Provence (Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
The Psalms of Thomas (more correctly "Psalms of Thom") are an enigmatic set of psalms found appended to the end of the Coptic Manichaean Psalm-book, which was in turn part of the Medinet Madi Coptic Texts uncovered in 1928.
Pseudepigrapha (also anglicized as "pseudepigraph" or "pseudepigraphs") are falsely-attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past.
Pseudo-Plutarch is the conventional name given to the actual, but unknown, authors of a number of pseudepigrapha (falsely attributed works) attributed to Plutarch but now known to have not been written by him.
In psychology, the psyche is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious.
Ptolemy the Gnostic, or Ptolemaeus Gnosticus, was a disciple of the Gnostic teacher Valentinius and is known for the Letter to Flora, an epistle he wrote to a wealthy woman named Flora, herself not a gnostic.
Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably influenced by mathematics and mysticism.
The Q source (also Q document, Q Gospel, or Q from Quelle, meaning "source") is a hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings (logia).
The Qolusta (script) is the canonical prayer book of the Mandaeans, a Gnostic sect from Iraq and Iran.
In Islam and Sufism, rūḥ (روح; plural arwah) is a person's immortal, essential self—the spirit or soul.
The Refutation of All Heresies (Φιλοσοφούμενα ή κατὰ πασῶν αἱρέσεων ἔλεγχος, Refutatio Omnium Haeresium), also called the Elenchus or Philosophumena, is a compendious Christian polemical work of the early third century, now generally attributed to Hippolytus of Rome.
A religious cosmology (also mythological cosmology) is a way of explaining the origin, the history and the evolution of the cosmos or universe based on the religious mythology of a specific tradition.
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries.
René-Jean-Marie-Joseph Guénon (15 November 1886 – 7 January 1951), also known as ʿAbd al-Wāḥid Yaḥyá, was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from sacred science and traditional studies, to symbolism and initiation.
The Republic (Πολιτεία, Politeia; Latin: Res Publica) is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 380 BC, concerning justice (δικαιοσύνη), the order and character of the just, city-state, and the just man.
Rethinking "Gnosticism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category, is a 1996 book by Michael Allen Williams.
Richard August Reitzenstein (2 April 1861, Breslau – 23 March 1931, Göttingen) was a German classical philologist and scholar of Ancient Greek religion, hermetism and Gnosticism.
Rodney William Stark (born July 8, 1934) is an American sociologist of religion who was a long time professor of sociology and of comparative religion at the University of Washington.
The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC).
The Roman Empire (Imperium Rōmānum,; Koine and Medieval Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr.) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Rudolf Karl Bultmann (20 August 1884 – 30 July 1976) was a German Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg.
Saint Peter (Syriac/Aramaic: ܫܸܡܥܘܿܢ ܟܹ݁ܐܦ݂ܵܐ, Shemayon Keppa; שמעון בר יונה; Petros; Petros; Petrus; r. AD 30; died between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simon, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church.
The Saint Thomas Christians, also called Syrian Christians of India, Nasrani or Malankara Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila, Nasraya and in more ancient times Essani (Essene) are an ethnoreligious community of Malayali Syriac Christians from Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.
Samael (סַמָּאֵל, "Venom of God" or "Poison of God", or "Blindness of God" Samael "Samil" orSamiel)"Samael" in A Dictionary of Angels, including the fallen angels by Gustav Davidson, Simon & Schuster, p.255 is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is an accuser, seducer, and destroyer (Mashhit), and has been regarded as both good and evil.
Samaria (שֹׁמְרוֹן, Standard, Tiberian Šōmərôn; السامرة, – also known as, "Nablus Mountains") is a historical and biblical name used for the central region of ancient Land of Israel, also known as Palestine, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south.
Sarkic, from the Greek σάρξ, flesh (or hylic, from the Greek ὕλη, stuff, or matter) in gnosticism describes the lowest level of human nature — the fleshly, instinctive level.
The Sasanian Empire, also known as the Sassanian, Sasanid, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire (known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr in Middle Persian), was the last period of the Persian Empire (Iran) before the rise of Islam, named after the House of Sasan, which ruled from 224 to 651 AD. The Sasanian Empire, which succeeded the Parthian Empire, was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.Norman A. Stillman The Jews of Arab Lands pp 22 Jewish Publication Society, 1979 International Congress of Byzantine Studies Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies, London, 21–26 August 2006, Volumes 1-3 pp 29. Ashgate Pub Co, 30 sep. 2006 The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, Eastern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatif, Qatar, UAE), the Levant (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), Yemen and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani.Khaleghi-Motlagh, The Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important and influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam. In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture, music and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world.
Satan is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin.
A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political, or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger group.
The Self in Jungian psychology is one of the Jungian archetypes, signifying the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness in a person, and representing the psyche as a whole.
Semites, Semitic people or Semitic cultures (from the biblical "Shem", שם) was a term for an ethnic, cultural or racial group who speak or spoke the Semitic languages.
Seth (translit;; "placed", "appointed"; Σήθ), in Judaism, Christianity, Mandaeism, and Islam, was the third son of Adam and Eve and brother of Cain and Abel, who were the only other of their children mentioned by name in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).
The Sethians were one of the main currents of Gnosticism during the 2nd and 3rd century CE, along with Valentinianism.
The Shabuhragan (شاپورگان Shāpuragān), which means " book of Shapur", was a sacred book of the Manichaean religion, written by the founder Mani (c. 210–276 CE) himself, originally in Middle Persian, and dedicated to Shapur I (c. 215-272 CE), the contemporary king of the Sassanid Persian Empire.
A shakha (Sanskrit, "branch" or "limb"), is a Hindu theological school that specializes in learning certain Vedic texts, or else the traditional texts followed by such a school.
Shapur I (𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩; New Persian: rtl), also known as Shapur I the Great, was the second shahanshah (king of kings) of the Sasanian Empire.
Arvand Rud (اَروَندرود, Swift River) or Shatt al-Arab (شط العرب, River of the Arabs) is a river of some 200 km (120 mi) in length, formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris in the town of al-Qurnah in the Basra Governorate of southern Iraq.
Simon the Sorcerer, or Simon the Magician (Latin: Simon Magus, Greek Σίμων ὁ μάγος), is a religious figure whose confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts.
The Simonians were a Gnostic sect of the 2nd century which regarded Simon Magus as its founder and traced its doctrines, known as Simonianism, back to him.
Sinop (Σινώπη, Sinōpē, historically known as Sinope) is a city with a population of 36,734 on the isthmus of İnce Burun (İnceburun, Cape Ince), near Cape Sinope (Sinop Burnu, Boztepe Cape, Boztepe Burnu) which is situated on the most northern edge of the Turkish side of the Black Sea coast, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, in modern-day northern Turkey.
Social alienation is "a condition in social relationships reflected by a low degree of integration or common values and a high degree of distance or isolation between individuals, or between an individual and a group of people in a community or work environment".
The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops.
Socrates (Sōkrátēs,; – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher, of the Western ethical tradition of thought.
Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and in the deuterocanonical books, as well as in the Quran and the hadith.
Spain (España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a sovereign state mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe.
Traditionally, spirituality refers to a religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man," oriented at "the image of God" as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.
The Statesman (Πολιτικός, Politikos; Latin: Politicus), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato.
Steven Bayme is an essayist and author.
The Stratiotici were a group of persons that formed into a sect on the basis of mutual agreement of having possession of a provision of the true view of divine truth.
The Stromata (Στρώματα) or Stromateis (Στρωματεῖς, "Patchwork"), also called Miscellanies, is the third in Clement of Alexandria's (c. 150 – c. 215) trilogy of works on the Christian life.
Sufism, or Taṣawwuf (personal noun: ṣūfiyy / ṣūfī, mutaṣawwuf), variously defined as "Islamic mysticism",Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.15 "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam",Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W. C., Jong, F. de, Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O. Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, edited by: P. Bearman, Th.
Sulpicius Severus (c. 363 – c. 425) was a Christian writer and native of Aquitania in modern-day France.
Supreme Being is a term used by theologians and philosophers of many religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Deism and Zoroastrianism, often as an alternative to the term God.
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought.
Syriac (ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ), also known as Syriac Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic.
Tawhid (توحيد, meaning "oneness " also romanized as tawheed, touheed, or tevhid) is the indivisible oneness concept of monotheism in Islam.
Tertullian, full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, c. 155 – c. 240 AD, was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.
The Enneads (Ἐννεάδες), fully The Six Enneads, is the collection of writings of Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry (270).
"The Esoteric Character of the Gospels" is an article published in three parts: in November-December 1887, and in February 1888, in the theosophical magazine ''Lucifer''; it was written by Helena Blavatsky.
The Shepherd of Hermas (Ποιμὴν τοῦ Ἑρμᾶ, Poimēn tou Herma; sometimes just called The Shepherd) is a Christian literary work of the late 1st or mid-2nd century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus.
The World as Will and Representation (WWR; Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, WWV) is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.
Thelema is a social or spiritual philosophy derived from Western esotericism.
Theudas was allegedly the name of a Christian Gnostic thinker, who was a follower of Paul of Tarsus.
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the Third Heaven is a division of Heaven in religious cosmology.
Thomas the Apostle (תומאס הקדוש; ⲑⲱⲙⲁⲥ; ܬܐܘܡܐ ܫܠܝܚܐ Thoma Shliha; also called Didymus which means "the twin") was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, according to the New Testament.
Thrownness is a concept introduced by German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) to describe humans' individual existences as "being thrown" (geworfen) into the world.
Thyateira (also Thyatira) was the name of an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, now the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle").
Batman River The Tigris (Sumerian: Idigna or Idigina; Akkadian: 𒁇𒄘𒃼; دجلة Dijlah; ܕܹܩܠܵܬ.; Տիգրիս Tigris; Դգլաթ Dglatʿ;, biblical Hiddekel) is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates.
Timaeus (Timaios) is one of Plato's dialogues, mostly in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c. 360 BC.
Torah (תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings.
The Traditionalist School is a group of 20th- and 21st-century thinkers concerned with what they consider to be the demise of traditional forms of knowledge, both aesthetic and spiritual, within Western society.
A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.
The Uyghur Khaganate (or Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate or Toquz Oghuz Country) (Modern Uyghur: ئورخۇن ئۇيغۇر خانلىقى), (Tang era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or) was a Turkic empire that existed for about a century between the mid 8th and 9th centuries.
Valentinianism was one of the major Gnostic Christian movements.
Valentinus (also spelled Valentinius; 100 – 160 AD) was the best known and for a time most successful early Christian gnostic theologian.
Vishnu (Sanskrit: विष्णु, IAST) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, and the Supreme Being in its Vaishnavism tradition.
William Butler Yeats (13 June 186528 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature.
Western esotericism (also called esotericism and esoterism), also known as the Western mystery tradition, is a term under which scholars have categorised a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society.
Wicca, also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a contemporary Pagan new religious movement.
Wilhelm Bousset (3 September 1865, Lübeck – 8 March 1920, Gießen) was a German theologian and New Testament scholar.
The personification of wisdom, typically as a righteous woman, is a motif found in religious and philosophical texts, most notably in the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish and Christian texts.
Yahweh (or often in English; יַהְוֶה) was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah.
Yale University Press is a university press associated with Yale University.
The Zohar (זֹהַר, lit. "Splendor" or "Radiance") is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah.
Zoroastrianism, or more natively Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest extant religions, which is monotheistic in having a single creator god, has dualistic cosmology in its concept of good and evil, and has an eschatology which predicts the ultimate destruction of evil.
Zostrianos is a 3rd-century Sethian Gnostic text from the New Testament apocrypha.
Zurvanism is an extinct branch of Zoroastrianism in which the divinity Zurvan is a First Principle (primordial creator deity) who engendered equal-but-opposite twins, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu.
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