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Gnostic Religion in Antiquity

In Gnosticism, Matthew Twigg, Roelof van den BROEK on July 8, 2013 at 2:00 am


2013.07.13 | Roelof van den Broek, Gnostic Religion in Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 263pp. ISBN: 978-1107031371.

Review by Matthew Twigg, University of Oxford.

Gnostic Religion in Antiquity is split into six chapters: Chapter 1 (“Gnosis and gnostic religion”) lays out van den Broek’s methodological approach to the thorny problem of gnostic religion itself; Chapter 2 (“Gnostic literature I: tradition”) introduces the Greek and Coptic sources themselves, making clear that there is gnostic literature extant outside the Nag Hammadi codices; Chapter 3 (“Gnostic literature II: texts”) gives extremely useful introductions and overviews of this extant literature; Chapter 4 (“Anti-gnostic literature”) introduces a selection of heresiological literature; Chapter 5 (“Gnosis: essence and expressions”) provides more detailed analyses of various gnostic ideas concerning religious experience, theology, pleromatology, cosmology, cosmogony, anthropology, and soteriology; and Chapter 6 (“Backgrounds”) assesses the scholarly hypotheses on “gnostic origins” in Platonism, Judaism, and Christianity.

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