Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas : The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor David Brakke
  • Series: The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion
  • 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Gnosticism, one of the most fascinating and perplexing phenomena in Western religious history, sparked religious ideologies that competed with many other religions of the time, including the theological thinking that came to define Christianity. And, though the emerging Orthodox Church eventually condemned Gnosticism as heretical, the church formed many of its most central doctrines (such as original sin, the Immaculate Conception, and even the concept of heresy) in response to Gnostic ideas.
This fascinating 24-lecture course is a richly detailed guide to the theology, sacred writings, rituals, and outstanding human figures of the Gnostic movements. What we call "Gnosticism" comprised a number of related religious ideologies and movements, all of which sought "gnosis," or immediate, direct, and intimate knowledge of God. The Gnostics had many scriptures, but unlike the holy texts of other religions, Gnostic scriptures were often modified over time. Gnostic cosmology was extraordinarily intricate and multidimensional, but religious myth was simply a means to the ultimate end of gnosis.
Follow Gnostic ideology and its vivid impact on Western thought through the centuries, from its role in early religions and its re-emergence in medieval spirituality to its remarkable traces in modern popular culture, from science fiction novels like Blade Runner to Hollywood films like The Matrix. In delving into the paths of gnosis, you'll discover a compelling, alternative current of religious practice in the West, and reveal Gnostic influence resonating in Western spirituality even in the present day.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I listened to it all three times. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Well structured and insightful. Highly recommended.
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- Russellji


Thoroughly enjoyed this. I realize that it is a difficult subject to present, however, I found it easy to listen to & somewhat humerous at times.
The many differing beliefs with all of their differing myth presentations was shared in an easy to understand pathway of the soul. The essence being that we are here to obtain 'gnosis' or hidden knowledge for the soul to escape this material world & using the easy to understand material of this Great Course of Gnosis -maybe we will. .
A first step for anyone who wants to look beyond the curtain of our lives & our purpose which jesus tried to convey. ..
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- Sally jo-anne finlay

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-02-2015
  • Publisher: The Great Courses