The Gnostic Religion by Hans Jonas

By Hans Jonas

The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity.

Contents
Preface to the 3rd version
Note at the get together of the 3rd Printing (1970)
Preface to the second one variation
Preface to the 1st variation
Abbreviations
1. creation: East and West in Hellenism
(a) The a part of the West
Greek tradition at the Eve of Alexander's Conquests
Cosmopolitanism and the hot Greek Colonization
The Hellenization of the East
Later Hellenism: The switch from Secular to non secular tradition
The 4 levels of Greek Culture
(b) The a part of the East
The East at the Eve of Alexander's Conquests
The East less than Hellenism
The Re-emergence of the East

Part I. Gnostic Literature—Main Tenets, Symbolic Language
2. The that means of Gnosis and the level of the Gnostic circulation
(a) religious weather of the period
(b) The identify "Gnosticism"
(c) The starting place of Gnosticism
(d) the character of Gnostic "Knowledge"
(e) Survey of Sources
Secondary or oblique Sources
Primary or Direct assets
(f) summary of major Gnostic Tenets
Theology
Cosmology
Anthropology
Eschatology
Morality

3. Gnostic Imagery and Symbolic Language
(a) The "Alien"
(b) "Beyond," "Without," "This World," and "The different World"
(c) Worlds and Aeons
(d) The Cosmic Habitation and the Stranger's Sojourn
(e) "Light" and "Darkness," "Life" and "Death"
(f) "Mixture," "Dispersal," the "One," and the "Many"
(g) "Fall," "Sinking," "Capture"
(h) Forlornness, Dread, Homesickness
(i) Numbness, Sleep, Intoxication
(j) The Noise of the World
(k) The "Call from Without"
(l) The "Alien Man"
(m) The content material of the Call
(n) The reaction to the Call
(o) Gnostic Allegory
Eve and the Serpent
Cain and the Creator
Prometheus and Zeus
Appendix to bankruptcy three: thesaurus of Mandaean Terms

Part II. Gnostic structures of Thought
4. Simon Magus
5. The "Hymn of the Pearl"
(a) The Text
(b) Commentary
Serpent, Sea, Egypt
The Impure Garment
The Letter
The Conquering of the Serpent and the Ascent
The Heavenly Garment; the Image
The Transcendental Self
The Pearl

6. The Angels That Made the realm. The Gospel of Marcion
(a) The Angels That Made the World
(b) The Gospel of Marcion
Marcion's specific place in Gnostic Thought
Redemption in keeping with Marcion
The Gods
"Grace Freely Given"
Marcion's Ascetic Morality
Marcion and Scripture

7. The Poimandres of Hermes Trismegistus
(a) The Text
(b) Commentary
The beginning of the Divine Man
The Descent of guy; the Planetary Soul
The Union of guy with Nature; the Narcissus Motif
The Ascent of the Soul
The First Beginnings

8. The Valentinian Speculation
(a) The Speculative precept of Valentinianism
(b) The System
Development of the Pleroma
The obstacle within the Pleroma
Consequences of the situation, functionality of the Limit
Restoration of the Pleroma
Events outdoor the Pleroma
Sufferings of the reduce Sophia
Origination of Matter
Derivation of the one Elements
Demiurge and production of the World
Salvation
Appendix I to bankruptcy eight: the location of fireplace one of the Elements
Appendix II to bankruptcy eight: The procedure of the Apocryphon of John

9. production, international historical past, and Salvation in keeping with Mani
(a) Mani's procedure; His Vocation
(b) The System
The Primal Principles
The assault of the Darkness
The Pacifism of the area of Light
The First construction: Primal Man
The Defeat of Primal Man
The Sacrifice and Adulteration of the Soul
The moment production: The dwelling Spirit; Liberation of Primal Man
Creation of the Macrocosmos
The 3rd production: The Messenger
Origin of vegetation and Animals
Creation of Adam and Eve
Mission of the Luminous Jesus; the Jesus Patibilis
Practical Conclusions; Mani's Ascetic Morality
The Doctrine of the final Things
(c) Recapitulation: varieties of Dualism in Gnostic Speculation

Part III. Gnosticism and the Classical Mind
10. The Cosmos in Greek and Gnostic Evaluation
(a) the belief of "Cosmos" and Man's position in It
The Greek Position
Cosmos-Piety as a place of Retreat
The Gnostic Revaluation
The Greek Reaction
(b) future and the Stars
Forms of Sidereal Piety within the historic World
The Gnostic Revaluation
The Greek response; the Brotherhood of guy and Stars
The Acosmic Brotherhood of Salvation

11. advantage and the Soul in Greek and Gnostic Teaching
(a) the assumption of advantage: Its Absence in Gnosticism
(b) Gnostic Morality
Nihilism and Libertinism
Asceticism, Self-Abnegation, the recent "Virtue"
Arete and the Christian "Virtues"
Virtue in Philo Judaeus
(c) Gnostic Psychology
The Demonological Interpretation of Inwardness
The Soul as Female
Ecstatic Illumination
(d) end: The Unknown God

Supplements to the second one Edition
12. the hot Discoveries within the box of Gnosticism
Addendum to bankruptcy 12
13. Epilogue: Gnosticism, Nihilism and Existentialism
Corrections and Additions
Bibliography
Selected Supplementary Bibliography
Index to right Names

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More obvious than kinship of spiritual substance is the recurrence of typical patterns of expression, specific images and formulas, throughout the literature of the whole group. In Philo of Alexandria we encounter, besides the Platonic and Stoic elements with which the Jewish core is overlaid, also the language of the mystery-cults and the incipient terminology of a new mysticism. The mysteryreligions on their part have strong relations to the astral complex of ideas. Neoplatonism is wide open to all pagan, and especially Eastern, religious lore having a pretense to antiquity and a halo of spirituality.

C) WORLDS AND AEONS It is in line with this view of things that "world" comes to be used in the plural. The expression "the worlds" denotes the long chain of such closed power-domains, divisions of the larger cosmic system, through which Life has to pass on its way, all of them equally alien to it. Only by losing its status of totality, by becoming 52 GNOSTIC LITERATURE—MAIN TENETS, SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE particularized and at the same time demonized, did the concept "world" come to admit of plurality.

The spheres are the seats of the Archons, especially of the "Seven," that is, of the planetary gods borrowed from the Babylonian pantheon. It is significant that these are now often called by Old Testament names for God (Iao, Sabaoth, Adonai, Elohim, El Shaddai), which from being synonyms for the one and supreme God are by this transposition turned into proper names of inferior demonic beings—an example of the pejorative revaluation to which Gnosticism subjected ancient traditions in general and Jewish tradition in particular.

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