Category Archives: 2015 Gnosticism Course

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 12: Modern Gnosticism.

Though titled “Modern Gnosticism,” the final lecture for my Gnosticism class covered more than the past century. We examined medieval forms of Christian Gnosticism, as well as Jewish and Islamic analogues, and some expressions of Gnosticism in modern literature, including … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week Eleven: Judas and Mary

Thanks to CNN’s Finding Jesus I was able to sit back and relax a bit this week and let the episodes on the Gospel of Judas and Mary Magdalene do much of the work for me. We began our look … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 10: Eastern Gnosis

Much of our Gnosticism course to date has focused on western forms of gnosis (well, more westerly, I suppose), but this week we moved east for a look at Manicheism, Mandaeism, and Hermeticism. We were flying without a net for … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | 1 Comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 9: Apocalypses

The TA and Sessionals strike at York continues but some classes taught by full-time faculty have resumed, including my Gnosticism course. The few weeks off led to some confusion for me on the organization of the course (see below) but … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 8: Rituals and the Divine Feminine

Classes at my university (York in Toronto) have been suspended for the past week due to a strike by the teaching assistants and part-time instructors. Undaunted, I put together a Youtube video of my lecture so that the class could … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 7: Sethianism

As with the lecture on Valentinianism a few weeks ago, this week we looked at another prominent gnostic group, Sethians, and again squeezed in a lot of reading: three chapters from the textbook and two primary texts: the Three Steles … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 6: Thomas

This week’s class was comparatively lighter than last week’s look at Valentinianism. The students had to read only one textbook chapter and two primary texts. Mind you, they also had to hand in their book review of Elaine Pagels’ The … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | 3 Comments

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 5: Valentinianism

I was overly ambitious this week. Denzey Lewis’ textbook devotes four chapters to Valentinianism; we covered all of it in one class. On top of that the students had to read an assortment of primary texts—Prayer of the Apostle Paul, … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 4: Religious Landscapes

Following the order of the textbook (Nicola Denzey Lewis’s Introduction to “Gnosticism”), we spent this week’s class on background. The students read the chapters in the textbook on “The Roman Empire” and “Christianity in the Second-Century Empire” and I had … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | Leave a comment

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 3: Heresy Hunting

This week we continued working through our sources for Gnosticism, this time with some discussion of the heresiologists. Before the manuscript discoveries discussed last week, the writings of the heresy hunters were virtually our only sources for gnostic Christianity. But … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | 2 Comments

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 2: Rethinking Nag Hammadi

As mentioned on my blog entry from last week, the textbook we are using for the course focuses almost entirely on the Nag Hammadi Library, leaving other sources for Gnosticism relatively unexamined. So we began class this week by redressing … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | 16 Comments

Reflections on Teaching Gnosticism Week 1: Who Will Take the Red Pill?

My New Testament Apocrypha course came to an end in December but that doesn’t mean studying apocryphal texts has to end too. So, let’s continue our examination of noncanonical early Christian literature in my Winter course: Gnosticism (the syllabus can … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Gnosticism Course | 1 Comment