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The doctrines of various religious sects flourishing especially in the 2nd and 3rd centuries ad in the Near East, teaching that the material world is the imperfect creation of a subordinate power or powers rather than of the perfect and unknowable Divine Being, and that the soul can transcend material existence by means of esoteric knowledge. The Mandaean religion preserves one system of Gnostic belief.


(Other Non-Christian Religions) a religious movement characterized by a belief in gnosis, through which the spiritual element in man could be released from its bondage in matter: regarded as a heresy by the Christian Church


the beliefs and practices of pre-Christian and early Christian sects, condemned by the church, especially the conviction that matter is evil and that knowledge is more important than faith, and the practice of esoteric mysticism. — Gnostic, n., adj.
See also: Mysticism
the beliefs and practices of pre-Christian and early Christian sects, condemned by the church, especially the conviction that matter is evil and that knowledge is more important than faith, and the practice of esoteric mysticism. Cf. Cainism, Manichaeism, Valentinianism. — Gnostic, n., adj.
See also: Heresy
the doctrines of any of various dualistic sects among the Jews and the early Christians who claimed possession of superior spiritual knowledge, explained the creation of the world in an emanational manner, and condemned matter as evil. — Gnostic, n., adj.
See also: Philosophy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Gnosticism - a religious orientation advocating gnosis as the way to release a person's spiritual element; considered heresy by Christian churches
heresy, unorthodoxy - a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
theological doctrine - the doctrine of a religious group
Mandaeanism, Mandeanism - a Gnostic religion originating the 2nd and 3rd centuries that believes John the Baptist was the Messiah and that incorporates Jewish and Christian elements into a framework of dualistic beliefs
aeon, eon - (Gnosticism) a divine power or nature emanating from the Supreme Being and playing various roles in the operation of the universe


[ˈnɒstɪˌsɪzəm] Ngnosticismo m
References in classic literature ?
Bog-lights, vapours of mysticism, psychic overtones, soul orgies, wailings among the shadows, weird gnosticisms, veils and tissues of words, gibbering subjectivisms, gropings and maunderings, ontological fantasies, pan-psychic hallucinations--this is the stuff, the phantasms of hope, that fills your bookshelves.
In this in-depth analysis, Schmid argues for an interpretation of Gnosticism as a critically important avenue for describing the history of early Christianity.
The online Catholic Encyclopedia has a predictably extensive definition of Gnosticism.
3) Therefore dualistic thought usually occurs within a religious or spiritual quest of existence, such as Christianity or Gnosticism.
Common criticisms of modern Gnosticism target its Orientalism, exoticism, appropriation, commodification and distortion of Asian religions.
His artworks are largely seen as a mystic revelation of a hitherto unknown mythos and pantheon, a synthesis of Jung, Kabala, Gnosticism and various archetypes borrowed from the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, the Middle and Far East to encode a synthesis of his views.
As such, these movements were secular religions, modern-day versions of the old Christian heresy called Gnosticism.
The novel has weird and wacky characters, wild and funny events, and allusions to death, Fortean phenomena, mysticism and various religions and spiritual paths including Gnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Jewish folklore, and Paganism.
Chapters depict sex practices as hidden in the Church's own major representatives, reconstruct the idea and presence of Gnostic spiritual-erotic experiences, and explore not just a history of Gnosticism and its major figures, but the mystery surrounding Sophia, known as the Wild Lady of Wisdom.
In The Allure of Immortality, Lyn Millner relates the headshaking tale of how Teed converted two hundred seekers into celibate Koreshans and led them from Chicago to a Southwest Florida promised land, based on a religion-science "mix of millennialism, mesmerism, the beliefs of Swedenborg, theosophy, spiritualism, mind healing, Buddhism, the primitive Christian church, Egyptian myth, gnosticism, electromagnetism," and the irresistible idea that the entire universe was contained in a hollow earth.
and in substantial articles on gnosticism for the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity and the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, (3) The pattern of "fall and restoration of souls" is common not only to Origen and the "gnostics," as McC suggests, but to all patristic Platonists, including the anti-Manichaean Augustine (who speaks of creatures' deficere and their restoration by God).
Synopsis: In "Gnostic Mysteries of Sex: Sophia the Wild One and Erotic Christianity", author Tobias Churton (Britain's leading scholar of Western Esotericism, a world authority on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism) takes the reader on an exploration of the sexual practices and doctrinal secrets of Gnosticism.