- Series: Beliefnet Guides
- Paperback: 159 pages
- Publisher: Harmony (February 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385514557
- ISBN-13: 978-0385514552
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism and Other Vanished Christianities (Beliefnet Guides) Paperback – February 21, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
It is said that history is written by the victors, and Christian history is no different. From its inception, followers of Jesus have tried to formulate a belief structure that they think best reflects their understandings of the person and mission of the Nazarene. This book, part of Beliefnet's series of short primers on religion, examines what the author calls the "conflictual diversity of early Christianity," focusing initially on three Gnostic sects considered schismatic by the keepers of orthodoxy. Valantasis, an Episcopal priest who is professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, then studies other interpretations and both inside and outside the church, including the influence of Neo-Platonism on the church's mystical self-understanding. Along the way we meet the Montanists, the Manichaeans and other familiar groups proclaimed heretical by the church. But Valantasis goes beyond the familiar, introducing us to an assortment of smaller, lesser-known groups such as the "Fools for Christ" and the "Stylites," all in a compact, entertaining style that is sure to please the casual reader. This book offers a concise but fact-filled approach to the study of early Christianity in its broad diversity. (Feb. 21)
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About the Author
RICHARD VALANTASIS is professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of several books, including Spiritual Guides of the Third Century, The Gospel of Thomas, and Reading Jesus: A Commentary on the Sayings of Jesus. An ordained Episcopal priest, Valantasis is well-known for his fresh translations and analyses of the New Testament and esoteric writings. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Top customer reviews
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It does not go into great detail, but this is the perfect book if you have not read anything about gnosticism. It covers quite a wide range of early religious groups, so you can pick the ones you might be really interested in. There are more in depth books out there, which take longer to read, but this should be your first venture into Gnosticism.
there is a list of recommended readings that will point you in the right direction. I highly recommend "Lost Christianities" by Bart D. Erhman.