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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈnɒstɪˌsɪzəm] Ngnosticismo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
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.
Among their topics are the study of religion in a post-metaphysical age: philosophical and political reflections, taxonomy is epistemology: theorizing religion and hermeticism polythetically with Wasserstrom's Theses, Nag Hammadi at Eranos: rediscovering Gnosticism among the historians of religions, the repentant magician: "esoteric intimacies" and the enchantment of religious difference, and Luksus and the Hasidic critique of postwar American capitalism.
Synopsis: Throughout the twentieth century, German writers, philosophers, theologians, and historians turned to Gnosticism to make sense of the modern condition.
This is the second of a three-part research project on Early Christianities focusing on Gnosticism and the Pauline traditions.
(1) These movies have all been linked in some way to gnosticism (2) by a variety of scholars and in popular sources, (3) and I will be arguing, first, that their appearance must be seen in relation to the growing presence of gnosticism (or at least a version of gnosticism) in popular culture in the 1980s and 1990s (see below), and, second, that in its rebirth into a new context, ideas about gnosticism underwent some significant changes involving understandings of human empowerment and autonomy.
He uncovers the origins of Gnosticism and the suppression and banishment of magic by the post-pagan, Christian emperors of Rome.
Christians through the centuries have been so tempted, and spiritual writers have labeled these false paths Gnosticism and Pelagianism.
In Chapter two, Two Subtle Enemies of Holiness, Pope Francis speaks about "false forms of holiness that can lead us astray: Gnosticism and Pelagianism.
The online Catholic Encyclopedia has a predictably extensive definition of Gnosticism. What comes as a surprise, however, is how closely its sweeping definition also describes the animating logic of so much online progressivism--contemporary, identity-based, for the young.
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. Since perfection is unattainable in this world, these "religions" could never achieve their ends.