Rehabilitating “gnosis” and Christianity in Valentinus: Conclusion

This is the conclusion to a series on Valentinus, the early Christian condemned by Irenaeus as a "heretic" by association with the Gnostikoi, a designation perpetuated by modern scholars of religious history. I have attempted to rehabilitate his biography and use Valentinus as an example of how the binary dichotomy of "orthodoxy vs. heresy" has... Continue Reading →

A History of Orthodoxy vs. Heresy Part III: Philo, Clement and Origen

In the previous posts of this series, (Valentinus was a Christian, not a "Gnostic": Exploration of the history shaped by the "Orthodoxy vs Heresy" Dichotomy and A History of Orthodoxy vs. Heresy Part II: Valentinus Up Close) I looked at the way Valentinus has been characterized by modern scholars and argued that, with the scant... Continue Reading →

Valentinus was a Christian, not a “Gnostic”: Exploration of the history shaped by the “Orthodoxy vs Heresy” Dichotomy

In this series, I will look at the historical figure Valentinus (2nd c, CE), whose life work demonstrates an important intersection of second century, CE, Western thought: Hellenistic trends in Judaism and Christianity in Alexandria, "gnostic" influences from Syria and Palestine, a classical education in Greek philosophy and highly sophisticated Christian theology. He is remembered,... Continue Reading →

Pierre Bourdieu on How Language Shapes Reality

Although I've written previously about Pierre Bourdieu's social theory, especially in regard to how we view religion in society, my favorite insight from his work is on how language, power and perception of reality are related in our daily lives. Here is a short summary of how language shapes our perception of reality, according to Bourdieu.... Continue Reading →

Power Relations and the Socially Constructed Self: What does this say about “belief”? Part II: Louis Althusser

In the previous post, I presented an overview of this series. Here, I will focus on Louis Althusser. After providing a more comprehensive overview of the three theorists, I will discuss the relationship between social indoctrination and personal belief. Althusser Louis Althusser claims that a primary function of State Power in a capitalist society is to perpetuate the... Continue Reading →

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