The Exegesis of PKD

   I bought this as soon as it came out and finally started reading it this weekend. Although PKD was autodidactic and suffering from any number of possible ailments (including straight up revelations), I'm glad I finished my degree before I started reading it. It makes the task a little less daunting (the book is... Continue Reading →

Gershom Scholem: Conclusion, Ineffable God: The Jewish (rather than Platonic) Roots of Gnosticism

This is a series on the relationship between Greek philosophy and gnostic literature. To start with the first post, please go here. Here are my concluding thoughts on the extent to which Platonism influenced gnosticism and, secondarily, whether Judaism is actually the more likely origin. Famed Jewish historian Gershom Scholem argued for a link between early... 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 →

Getting my Masters Degree: “Write What You Know”

   I'm about to graduate with a degree in Religious Studies. Thursday, I submitted the final paper of my graduate degree: this one an attempt to salvage the reputation of second century Alexandrian Christian (often called "gnostic") Valentinus from the heresiological reports of Church Fathers like Irenaeus and the resulting orthodox historical narrative that shapes... Continue Reading →

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