This book is a comprehensive study of “Valentinianism,” the most important Gnostic Christian movement in Antiquity. It is the first attempt to make full use of the Valentinian documents from Nag Hammadi as well as the reports of the Church Fathers. The book discusses the difference between the Eastern and the Western branches of Valentinianism, and argues that individual sources must always be understood in the context of the historical development of Valentinian doctrines. It also analyses the ideas about the incarnation, protological theories, and initiation practice, as well as the dynamic relationship between these building-blocks of Valentinian doctrine. A final chapter studies anew the doctrine of Valentinus himself and outlines the history of the movement. The book’s usefulness lies in its attempt to bring together for the first time all the sources so as to construct a coherent picture of Valentinian Christianity.
|Publisher:||Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Einar Thomassen obtained his Ph.D. from the University of St Andrews in 1982, and has been Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Bergen since 1993. His publications include Le Traité Tripartite (1989) and numerous articles and books about Gnosticism and ancient religions generally.
Table of Contents
PART I VALENTINIANISM EAST AND WEST1 The Valentinians of Irenaeus2 “Valentinus” in Iren. Haer. I 11:1 3 The doctrine of Theodotus4 The two “schools”5 The soteriology of The Tripartite Tractate6 The soteriology of Irenaeus’ system7 The soteriology of Exc. 43:2–658 The soteriology of Iren. Haer. I 7:29 The soteriology of Hipp. Haer. VI 29–3610 Provisional conclusions11 Eastern soteriologies: The Treatise on the Resurrection12 Eastern soteriologies: The Interpretation of Knowledge13 Eastern soteriologies: The Gospel of Philip14 The soteriology of Heracleon15 The position of PtolemyPART II THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF VALENTINIANISM16 Salvation in history and ritual17 Salvation in history and protological myth18 Protology, salvation history, and ritual19 Conclusion to Part IIPART III VALENTINIAN PROTOLOGY20 The pleromatology21 The myth of separation and restoration22 Chronology of the protologies23 The meaning and origins of Valentinian protology24 The transformation of eschatology to protologyPART IV VALENTINIAN INITIATION25 The sources26 Initiation: Synopsis of the actsy of the initiation ritual28 The historical position of Valentinian initiation29 A ritual for the dyingPART V VALENTINUS AND THE “VALENTINIANS”30 Valentinus: biography and sources31 Valentinus: a study of the fragments32 Valentinians: fragments of the history of Valentinianism