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Beyond Gnosticism - Myth, Lifestyle, And Society in the School of Valentinus


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Table of Contents

List of Tables Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1. The School of Valentinus After Gnosticism Part 1. Myth, Lifestyle, and the World in the Fragments of Valentinus 2. Immortality as a Way of Life 3. Adam's Frank Speech 4. Cosmic Sympathy and the Origin of Evil Part 2. Valentinian Cosmogony, Lifestyle, and Other Christians 5. Myth and Lifestyle for Beginners 6. Myth and the Therapy of Emotions 7. The Creator-God and the Cosmos 8. Walk Like a Valentinian 9. Two Classes of Christians in Practice Part 3. Myth, Society, and Non-Christians 10. Myth, Society, and the Oppressed Church 11. Myth and Ethnic Boundaries Conclusion 12. Valentinian Secretiveness Reconsidered Appendix: Remarks on the Sources of Irenaeus's and Hippolytus's Accounts of Valentinian Theology Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index of Modern Authors Index of Ancient Sources Index of Subjects

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"Ismo Dunderberg's superb study is one of the freshest winds in recent years in scholarship on Valentinian and related traditions. Dunderberg demonstrates in chapter after chapter how Valentinian myth was not at all merely about abstruse theological speculation but rather was closely interwoven with a fabric of discourse and practice not untypical for philosophical schools of the period, including concern with day-to-day social realities, political relationships, and expectations for moral progress. Not intended as a comprehensive survey of Valentinianism, the book nevertheless guides us on a lively discussion that visits virtually all of our major sources for this tradition, and no stop is without highly original and provocative insights. If we are to make real progress in understanding what Valentinian myth meant for the actual lives of men and women who created and reflected on these traditions, it will require just the sort of work that this groundbreaking, fertile analysis exemplifies." -- Michael A. Williams, professor of comparative religion and Near Eastern languages and civilization, University of Washington

About the Author

Ismo Dunderberg is professor of New Testament at the Department of Biblical Studies, University of Helsinki. An expert in the Gospel of John, second-century early Christianity, and the Nag Hammadi Library, his most recent book is The Beloved Disciple in Conflict? Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas (Oxford University Press, 2006). He is also leader of the research project "Gnosticism and the Formation of Christianity," funded by the Academy of Finland.


This book is a valuable contribution to the study of Valentinian Christianity. -- Birger A. Pearson Religious Studies Review Beyond Gnosticism is a lively, fascinating study of Valentinian thought and everyday social and political life. -- Marvin Meyer Review of Biblical Literature [Dunderberg's] approach results in original insights that are persuasive and illuminating. Journal of Religion A timely and original study that ought to reorient the study of Valentinian Christianity in important ways. -- Benjamin H. Dunning Journal of American Academy of Religion ground-breaking Scottish Journal of Theology

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