Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity: An Introduction to Gnosticism

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9781563382994: Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity: An Introduction to Gnosticism

Gnosticism, a form of religious knowledge that dates from the early centuries of the Christian movement, has often been characterized as a bizarre and even perverse distortion of Christian theology. Its special emphasis was on knowledge of God and of the nature and destiny of human kind. Such knowledge was believed to have redeeming power, liberating the soul from the sway of cosmic forces.The earliest information on Gnosticism comes from the works of Christian opponents (Irenaeus et al.) and from certain ancient Coptic texts. A new era in the study of Gnosticism was inaugurated by the discovery in 1945 of the Nag Hammadi library.In this introductory handbook, Riemer Roukema explores the meaning of the "gnosis" phenomenon on the basis of these sources and sets forth the relationship between Gnosticism and the church. Part One provides a general orientation to Gnosticism; Part Two looks at the religious and philosophical backgrounds of Gnosticism; Part Three uses ancient texts to provide a more detailed discussion of gnosis, Gnosticism, and Gnostics; Part Four examines the relationship between "Catholic" Christianity and Gnosticism.Riemer Roukema is Lecturer in New Testament at the Theological University of Kampen, The Netherlands.

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About the Author:

Riemer Roukema is Professor of New Testament at the Protestant Theological University, Kampen, The Netherlands.

Review:

"Serious students of the New Testament will find this a very informative resource." —Donald Senior, C.P., The Bible Today (Donald Senior, C.P. The Bible Today )

"[Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity] is praiseworthy as a basic introduction to the sort of mythology and literature to usually classified as 'gnostic'...readers will benefit from the considerable amount of information on a complex subject that has been packed in accessible form..."—Michael A. Williams, as printed in Interpretation, January 2001 (Michael A. Williams Interpretation )

"This book is a readable basic introduction for pastors, students, and interested lay people, assuming no previous knowledge..Anyone who is curious about gnosticism and the sensationalist claims sometimes made about it will do well to pick up this reliable guide."—David W. Kuck, Currents in Theology and Mission, Feb. 2002 (David W. Kuck Currents In Theology and Mission )

"Serious students of the New Testament will find this a very informative resource." —Donald Senior, C.P., The Bible Today (, The Bible Today )

"[Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity] is praiseworthy as a basic introduction to the sort of mythology and literature to usually classified as 'gnostic'...readers will benefit from the considerable amount of information on a complex subject that has been packed in accessible form..."—Michael A. Williams, as printed in Interpretation, January 2001 (, Interpretation )

"This book is a readable basic introduction for pastors, students, and interested lay people, assuming no previous knowledge..Anyone who is curious about gnosticism and the sensationalist claims sometimes made about it will do well to pick up this reliable guide."—David W. Kuck, Currents in Theology and Mission, Feb. 2002 (, Currents In Theology and Mission )

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Roukema, Riemer
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