- Paperback: 396 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press; 3rd edition (January 16, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807058017
- ISBN-13: 978-0807058015
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity Paperback – January 16, 2001
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"Using the few sources available to him with penetrating insight, Jonas reconstructed the Gnostic worldview ... The Gnostic Religion remains, even today, the classic introduction" – Elaine Pagels, author of The Origin of Satan
"A fascinating exposition with copious quotations, of what is known of Gnosticism ... Dr. Jonas writes with authority, passion, and precision about this long-forgotten religion" – The New Yorker
About the Author
Hans Jonas (1903-1993) was a distinguished philosopher specializing in political science, theology, and bioethics. His published works include The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God & the Beginning of Christianity; The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology; and The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of Ethics for the Technological Age.
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Most useful for people with a philosophical background: while (excepting the final chapter) the book is in no way 'philosophy,' Jonas thinks like a philosopher; he brings Gnostic figures and myths into a kind of dialogue with philosophy (especially Stoicism).
Readers who do enjoy this book will also enjoy Couliano's 'Tree of Gnosis,' although that work only utilizes Gnosticism as a way to propagate a new methodology on the history of ideas. Still, it is a treasure-trove of information. Thank you.