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Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Parables, Hymns & Prayers from Central Asia Hardcover – December, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this work, Klimkeit (history of religion, Univ. of Bonn) makes available for the first time in English a little-known corpus of texts that are extremely important for the study of Manicheanism, a serious rival to early Christianity. Klimkeit, who is German, translates the original mainly Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, and Turkish documents into good English. An introductory chapter sets forth the theological and historical milieu of these "Turfan texts," which are incomplete to fragmentary. Brief introductory comments precede each text, with generous notes following. The translations and notes were obviously made for those not conversant with the religions. This work will appeal to those studying Manicheanism and the Gnostic religions who are not comfortable with the original languages or who want an easily accessible compendium. For specialized collections only.
- Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Turkish

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (December 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060645865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060645861
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Roy Waidler on October 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this book in the 1990s and had to give it away when I moved into a much smaller place and was making a lot less money. Now that I'm retired I've begun rebuilding what had been a fabulous library of source-texts about religion along the Silk Road. This book is an absolute must for someone seeking to understand the intertwining evolution of Manichaeism and "Orthodox Christianity." I must be at pains to say that "Orthodox Christianity" as I use the term is the generally-accepted description of those churches not affiliated with Rome in the West and after Islam began making incursions into Palestine and ancient Anatolia, several of the bishoprics - Antioch, Merv, Malabar - were separated from the Greek church which held on in Constantinople and Athens. (The Alexandrian see had become the Coptic Church). Not only did the church in the East have to deal with things like the Nestorian heresy and a predatory Zoroastrianism, they had the followers of the prophet Mani to deal with. The historical result is that some of these groups were Manichaean, others were more or less orthodox, while a third became heavily influenced by ideas from farther afield such as Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. Professor Klimkeits' book presents material from the Manichaeans, almost all of which had been the provenance of specialists like W B Henning and Mary Boyce. You literally had to dig through vast library stacks to find the books and journal articles published by Henning, Boyce and others; Klimkeits' book spares the reader this digging and presents beautifully annotated selections from the vast Central Asian corpus.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very nice. Although I have not finished reading it, the information that it reveals about the doctrine of an ancient 'religion of mind' that combined Christianity, Judeaism, Islam, Buddhism, Zoarster [or however it is spelled](etc.) is elevating. The book is a collection of Hyms that reveal some answers to the teachings of 'the Living Jesus' as expressed in the Gospel of Thomas and other 'Gnostic' gospels. All in all: if you are interested in knowledge of light or comparative religious studies, then the introduction alone is worth your purchase. Because much of the book is songs, the content is not all information, don't think it is to be read straight through...
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