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Suggestions for More Advanced Reading...


What is Gnosticism? by Karen L. King

Dr. King offers an invaluable review of the academic study of Gnosticism over the last century, and closely questions the dogmatic biases that have motivated most prior studies. She suggests that the category of "gnosticism" needs a careful reevaluation in light of current understanding of this ancient tradition. Anyone interested in the history and evolution of Gnostic studies in light of the Nag Hammadi Library - including the the many other studies listed below - will find this a very useful book; it is however oriented to a scholarly audience. Buy the Book.



Gnosis, by Kurt RudolphGnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism by Kurt Rudolph

This is a detailed and learned exposition, equally valuable to scholar and lay-person, but recommended for those who have already complete a course of introductory reading. The author's point of view is objective and in the main uninfluenced by heresiological bias. Buy the Book.


The Gnostic Religion, by Hans JonasThe Gnostic Religion by Hans Jonas

A classic work, employing existential principles of analysis to Gnostic teachings (the author was a student of Heidegger). Contains many valuable quotations, including many from Mandaean and Manichaean sources. Written before the publication of the Nag Hammadi scriptures, it contains only scant references to these sources. Buy the Book.


Gnosis, by Dan MerkurGnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions  by Dan Merkur

A startlingly creative and insightful work that sees Gnosticism as originating in a certain kind of spiritual experience akin to C. G. Jung's "active imagination". Overall, it is a well documented and readable study. Merkur touches upon cognate material from Christian, Jewish, and Islamic mysticism to amplify his conclusions.  Buy the Book.


The Gnostics, by Jacques LacarriereThe Gnostics  by Jacques Lacarriere

A poetic meditation on Gnosticism and Gnostic teachings. The author's anti-establishment orientation is occasionally overbearing, but the book contains useful information and is sympathetic to Gnosticism. Included is a worthwhile forward by Lawrence Durrell. Buy the Book.


The Gnostic Paul, by Elaine PagelsThe Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters by Elaine H. Pagels

An examination of the Valentinian Gnostic reading of the Pauline letters, offering a new perspective on Pauline studies. Written before The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels here presents an exegesis of Paul in high scholarly style. Buy the Book.


Adam, Eve and the Serpent, by Elaine PagelsAdam, Eve, and the Serpent  by Elaine H. Pagels

In her usual lucid and insightful style, Pagels examines the impact of the first three chapters of Genesis on the political thought and development of Christendom. The   chapter of Pagel's book titled "Gnostic Improvisions on Genesis" is of particular value and interest to Gnostic studies. Buy the Book.


Mani, the Angel and the Column of Glory, by Andrew WelburnMani, the Angel and the Column of Glory by Andrew Welburn 

The resurgence of Gnostic studies has led to a renewed interest in the world religion founded by the Prophet Mani (216-276 AD). During the last century entire libraries of Manichean texts were unearthed in the orient, but only recently in the context of Gnostic studies are scholars beginning to evaluate these writings and the religion they witness. Andrew Welburn presents here a wonderful introduction to the Gnosis of Mani, "Apostle of Jesus Christ", along with the most accessible collection of Manichean texts presently available. This is a book highly recommended to those interested in the nature and history of Gnosticism. Unfortunately, it is presently out of print. Buy the Book.


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Basic Books | Advanced Reading | Scriptures | Stephan HoellerSearch