Pistis Sophia: English Edition

Jazzybee Verlag
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In these days of the " higher criticism," with its merciless analysis of original Scripture, much light would doubtless be thrown on the New Testament by an unprejudiced study of Gnosticism. This philosophy, which reached a flourishing maturity in the second century of the Christian era, but became virtually extinct in the sixth, taught that all natures — intellectual, moral, spiritual, and material—are successive emanations from Deity. Its professors claimed to have an esoteric and philosophic knowledge of Christian doctrines, and some modern scholars assert that the Gospels are replete with allusions to the Gnostic teaching. Although it is now fashionable to dismiss the Syrian and Egyptian schools as a fantastic combination of Oriental mysticism, Greek philosophy, and Christian theology, yet it is probable that a profound interest will be awakened among reasoning Christians by " Pistis Sophia."
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Jazzybee Verlag
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Published on
Nov 8, 2013
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Religion / Gnosticism
Religion / Spirituality
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Eligible for Family Library

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The writing of the present work has been a congenial task to Mr. Mead, and he has brought to bear lovingly and zealously upon the portraiture of the figure of Christ and of early Christianity, all the knowledge which a deep study of Oriental religions from their emotional side could furnish.The outset that there is very little of what is commonly regarded as the Theosophic method apparent in the work, which is the product of a scholarly though withal very devotional spirit. Mr. Mead's aim has been to enable the reader to obtain a glimpse of a world of which he has never heard at school, and of which no word is ever breathed from the pulpit; to take him away from the pictures which the rationalists and the apologists have presented, and to enable him to obtain an unimpeded view of that wonderful panorama of religious strife which the first two centuries of our era presented. He will here see a religious world of immense activity, a vast upheaval of thought and a strenuousness of religious endeavor to which the history of the Western world gives no parallel. Thousands of schools and communities on every hand, striving and contending, a vast freedom of thought, a mighty effort to live the religious life. Here he finds innumerable points of contact with other' religions; he moves in an atmosphere of freedom of which he has previously had no experience in Christian tradition. Who are all these people—not fishermen and slaves and the poor and destitute, though those are striving too—but these men of learning and ascetic life, saints and sages as much as many others to whom the name has been given with far less reason ?
Excerpt from Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: Some Short Sketches Among the Gnostics Mainly of the First Two Centuries a Contribution to the Study of Christian Origins Based on the Most Recently Recovered Materials

The second of the three main divisions of the present volume, then, consists, for the most part, of matter already published; it has, however, been throughout carefully revised. For the rest, I have endeavoured to give the reader a bird's-eye view of the whole field of early Gnosticism. I have, there fore, added to the above-mentioned articles the main material to be derived from the Uncanonical. Acts and the Coptic Gnostic works, and have prefaced the whole with a general introduction, dealing mainly with the background of the Gnosis. To all of this I have appended a short conclusion and some biblio graphical indications to help the student. The treat ment of the subject is, therefore, new, in that no one has previously attempted to bring the whole of these materials together.

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