apocalypse of the alien god platonism and the exile of sethian gnosticism

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Apocalypse Of The Alien God

Author : Dylan M. Burns
ISBN : 9780812245790
Genre : Religion
File Size : 73. 11 MB
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In the second century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian thought were sufficiently friendly that a Greek philosopher could declare, "What is Plato but Moses speaking Greek?" Four hundred years later, a Christian emperor had ended the public teaching of subversive Platonic thought. When and how did this philosophical rupture occur? Dylan M. Burns argues that the fundamental break occurred in Rome, ca. 263, in the circle of the great mystic Plotinus, author of the Enneads. Groups of controversial Christian metaphysicians called Gnostics ("knowers") frequented his seminars, disputed his views, and then disappeared from the history of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, including versions of the books circulated by Plotinus's Christian opponents. Blending state-of-the-art Greek metaphysics and ecstatic Jewish mysticism, these texts describe techniques for entering celestial realms, participating in the angelic liturgy, confronting the transcendent God, and even becoming a divine being oneself. They also describe the revelation of an alien God to his elect, a race of "foreigners" under the protection of the patriarch Seth, whose interventions will ultimately culminate in the end of the world. Apocalypse of the Alien God proposes a radical interpretation of these long-lost apocalypses, placing them firmly in the context of Judeo-Christian authorship rather than ascribing them to a pagan offshoot of Gnosticism. According to Burns, this Sethian literature emerged along the fault lines between Judaism and Christianity, drew on traditions known to scholars from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Enochic texts, and ultimately catalyzed the rivalry of Platonism with Christianity. Plunging the reader into the culture wars and classrooms of the high Empire, Apocalypse of the Alien God offers the most concrete social and historical description available of any group of Gnostic Christians as it explores the intersections of ancient Judaism, Christianity, Hellenism, myth, and philosophy.

Apocalypse Of The Alien God

Author : Dylan M. Burns
ISBN : 9780812209228
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 67. 10 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the second century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian thought were sufficiently friendly that a Greek philosopher could declare, "What is Plato but Moses speaking Greek?" Four hundred years later, a Christian emperor had ended the public teaching of subversive Platonic thought. When and how did this philosophical rupture occur? Dylan M. Burns argues that the fundamental break occurred in Rome, ca. 263, in the circle of the great mystic Plotinus, author of the Enneads. Groups of controversial Christian metaphysicians called Gnostics ("knowers") frequented his seminars, disputed his views, and then disappeared from the history of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, including versions of the books circulated by Plotinus's Christian opponents. Blending state-of-the-art Greek metaphysics and ecstatic Jewish mysticism, these texts describe techniques for entering celestial realms, participating in the angelic liturgy, confronting the transcendent God, and even becoming a divine being oneself. They also describe the revelation of an alien God to his elect, a race of "foreigners" under the protection of the patriarch Seth, whose interventions will ultimately culminate in the end of the world. Apocalypse of the Alien God proposes a radical interpretation of these long-lost apocalypses, placing them firmly in the context of Judeo-Christian authorship rather than ascribing them to a pagan offshoot of Gnosticism. According to Burns, this Sethian literature emerged along the fault lines between Judaism and Christianity, drew on traditions known to scholars from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Enochic texts, and ultimately catalyzed the rivalry of Platonism with Christianity. Plunging the reader into the culture wars and classrooms of the high Empire, Apocalypse of the Alien God offers the most concrete social and historical description available of any group of Gnostic Christians as it explores the intersections of ancient Judaism, Christianity, Hellenism, myth, and philosophy.

Divination And Theurgy In Neoplatonism

Author : Crystal Addey
ISBN : 9781317148982
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 87. 46 MB
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Why did ancient philosophers consult oracles, write about them, and consider them to be an important part of philosophical thought and practice? This book explores the extensive links between oracles and philosophy in Late Antiquity, particularly focusing on the roles of oracles and other forms of divination in third and fourth century CE Neoplatonism. Examining some of the most significant debates between pagan philosophers and Christian intellectuals on the nature of oracles as a central yet contested element of religious tradition, Addey focuses particularly on Porphyry's Philosophy from Oracles and Iamblichus' De Mysteriis - two works which deal extensively with oracles and other forms of divination. This book argues for the significance of divination within Neoplatonism and offers a substantial reassessment of oracles and philosophical works and their relationship to one another. With a broad interdisciplinary approach, encompassing Classics, Ancient Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies and Ancient History, Addey draws on recent anthropological and religious studies research which has challenged and re-evaluated the relationship between rationality and ritual.

Dark Mirrors

Author : Andrei A. Orlov
ISBN : 9781438439532
Genre : Religion
File Size : 65. 22 MB
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Discusses the two most important figures in early Jewish mythologies of evil, the fallen angels Azazel and Satanael.

God Over All

Author : William Lane Craig
ISBN : 9780198786887
Genre :
File Size : 49. 36 MB
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God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism is a defense of God's aseity and unique status as the Creator of all things apart from Himself in the face of the challenge posed by mathematical Platonism. After providing the biblical, theological, and philosophical basis for the traditional doctrine of divine aseity, William Lane Craig explains the challenge presented to that doctrine by the Indispensability Argument for Platonism, which postulates the existence of uncreated abstract objects. Craig provides detailed examination of a wide range of responses to that argument, both realist and anti-realist, with a view toward assessing the most promising options for the theist. A synoptic work in analytic philosophy of religion, this groundbreaking volume engages discussions in philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and metaontology.

From The Ashes Of Angels

Author : Andrew Collins
ISBN : 187918172X
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 26. 45 MB
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Provides convincing evidence that angels, demons, and fallen angels were flesh-and-blood members of a giant race predating humanity, spoken of in the Bible as the Nephilim. • Indicates that the earthly paradise of Eden was a realm in the mountains of Kurdistan. • By the author of Gateway to Atlantis. Our mythology describes how beings of great beauty and intelligence, who served as messengers of gods, fell from grace through pride. These angels, also known as Watchers, are spoken of in the Bible and other religious texts as lusting after human women, who lay with them and gave birth to giant offspring called the Nephilim. These religious sources also record how these beings revealed forbidden arts and sciences to humanity--transgressions that led to their destruction in the Great Flood. Andrew Collins reveals that these angels, demons, and fallen angels were flesh-and-blood members of a race predating our own. He offers evidence that they lived in Egypt (prior to the ancient Egyptians), where they built the Sphinx and other megalithic monuments, before leaving the region for what is now eastern Turkey following the cataclysms that accompanied the last Ice Age. Here they lived in isolation before gradually establishing contact with the developing human societies of the Mesopotamian plains below. Humanity regarded these angels--described as tall, white-haired beings with viperlike faces and burning eyes--as gods and their realm the paradise wherein grew the tree of knowledge. Andrew Collins demonstrates how the legends behind the fall of the Watchers echo the faded memory of actual historical events and that the legacy they have left humanity is one we can afford to ignore only at our own peril.

Rethinking Gnosticism

Author : Michael Allen Williams
ISBN : 1400822211
Genre : Religion
File Size : 80. 65 MB
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Most anyone interested in such topics as creation mythology, Jungian theory, or the idea of "secret teachings" in ancient Judaism and Christianity has found "gnosticism" compelling. Yet the term "gnosticism," which often connotes a single rebellious movement against the prevailing religions of late antiquity, gives the false impression of a monolithic religious phenomenon. Here Michael Williams challenges the validity of the widely invoked category of ancient "gnosticism" and the ways it has been described. Presenting such famous writings and movements as the Apocryphon of John and Valentinian Christianity, Williams uncovers the similarities and differences among some major traditions widely categorized as gnostic. He provides an eloquent, systematic argument for a more accurate way to discuss these interpretive approaches. The modern construct "gnosticism" is not justified by any ancient self-definition, and many of the most commonly cited religious features that supposedly define gnosticism phenomenologically turn out to be questionable. Exploring the sample sets of "gnostic" teachings, Williams refutes generalizations concerning asceticism and libertinism, attitudes toward the body and the created world, and alleged features of protest, parasitism, and elitism. He sketches a fresh model for understanding ancient innovations on more "mainstream" Judaism and Christianity, a model that is informed by modern research on dynamics in new religious movements and is freed from the false stereotypes from which the category "gnosticism" has been constructed.

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