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Practicing Gnosis: Ritual, Magic, Theurgy and Liturgy in Nag Hammadi, Manichaean and Other Ancient L (New)

by DeConick, April (ed)

Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers

Binding: Hardcover

Book ID: 9789004256293, 9004256296


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Ritual, magic, liturgy, and theurgy were central features of Gnosticism, and yet Gnostic practices remain understudied. This anthology is meant to fill in this gap and address more fully what the ancient Gnostics were doing. While previously we have studied the Gnostics as intellectuals in pursuit of metaphysical knowledge, the essays in this book attempt to understand the Gnostics as ecstatics striving after religious experience, as prophets seeking revelation, as mystics questing after the ultimate God, as healers attempting to care for the sick and diseased. These essays demonstrate that the Gnostics were not necessarily trendy intellectuals seeking epistomological certainities. They were after religious experiences that relied on practices. The book is organized comparatively in a history-of-religions approach with sections devoted to Initiatory, Recurrent, Therapeutic, Ecstatic, and Philosophic Practices. This book celebrates the brilliant career of Birger A. Pearson.

April D. DeConick, Introduction to Practicing Gnosis

A Tribute to Birger A. Pearson

  • George W.E. Nickelsburg, For Birger Pearson: A Scholar Who Both Studies and Embodies Syncretism
  • Gerald James Larson, Religionsgeschichtliche Schule, Religionswissenschaft, Piano, Oboe and Bourbon
  • Gregory Shaw, Birger Pearson: Scholar, Professor and Mentor
  • Birger A. Pearson, A Bibliography
Initiatory Practices
  • April D. DeConick, The Road for the Souls is through the Planets: The Mysteries of the Ophians Mapped
  • Roger Beck, Ecstatic Religion in the Roman Cult of Mithras
  • Bas van Os, Gospel of Philip as Gnostic Initiatory Discourse
  • Elliot Wolfson, Becoming Invisible: Rending the Veil and the Hermeneutic of Secrecy in the Gospel of Philip
  • Erin Evans, Ritual in the Second Book of Jeu
  • Nicola Denzey Lewis, Death on the Nile: Egyptian Codices, Gnosticism, and Early Christian Books of the Dead
Recurrent Practices
  • Einar Thomassen, Going to Church with the Valentinians
  • Madeleine Scopello, Practicing ‘Repentance’ on the Path to Gnosis in Exegesis on the Soul
  • Edward Butler, Opening the Way of Writing: Semiotic Metaphysics in the Book of Thoth
  • Fernando Bermejo Rubio, “I Worship and Glorify”: Manichaean Liturgy and Piety in Kellis’ Prayer of the Emanations
  • Jason BeDuhn, The Manichaean Weekly Confessional Ritual
  • Jorunn Buckley, Ritual Ingenuity in the Mandaean Scroll of Exalted Kingship
Therapeutic Practices
  • Naomi Janowitz, Natural, Magical, Scientific or Religious? A Guide to Theories of Healing
  • Grant Adamson, Astrological Medicine in Gnostic Traditions
  • Marvin Meyer, The Persistence of Ritual in the Magical Book of Mary and the Angels: P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 685
  • Rebecca Lesses, Image and Word: Performative Ritual and Material Culture in the Aramaic Incantation Bowls
Ecstatic Practices
  • John D. Turner, From Baptismal Vision to Mystical Union with the One: The Case of the Sethian Gnostics
  • Niclas Förster, Marcosian Rituals for Prophecy and Apolytrosis
  • James Davila, Ritual Praxis in the Hekhalot Literature
Philosophic Practices
  • Zeke Mazur, The Platonizing Sethian Gnostic Interpretation of Plato’s Sophist
  • Michael Williams, Did Plotinus’ “Friends” Still Go to Church? Communal Rituals and Ascent Apocalypses
  • Kevin Corrigan, The Meaning of “One”: Plurality and Unity in Plotinus and Later Neoplatonism
  • Gregory Shaw, Theurgy and the Platonist’s Luminous Body

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