Philo, Part IV of Ineffable God: The Jewish (rather than Platonic) Roots of Gnosticism

Philo's work is somewhat enigmatic. For instance, he uses Plato's theory of Ideas in De specialibus legibus I.329 to explain how the Hebrew God made the cosmos: "God created the universe, but without being personally involved in this task, because he, being perfectly blessed, could not enter into contract with indefinite and confused matter. He made use of... Continue Reading →

Ineffable God: The Jewish (rather than Platonic) Roots of Gnosticism, Part I

Let me tell you then why the creator made this world of generation. He was good, and the good can never have any jealousy of anything. And being free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be as like himself as they could be. This is in the truest sense the origin of creation... 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 →

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