• gnosis
    "knowledge," direct insight into God attained by pneumatics
  • Faith (pistis) and Knowledge (gnosis) (Gnostic Society Library)
    Knowledge (gnosis) is a somewhat more complex concept. Here is the definition of gnosis given by Elaine Pagels in her book The Gnostic Gospels: "...gnosis is not primarily rational knowledge. The Greek language distinguishes between scientific or reflective knowledge ('He knows mathematics') and knowing through observation or experience ('He knows me'). As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as 'insight', for gnosis involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself... Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level is to know God; this is the secret of gnosis...."

    In orthodox Christianity, pistis is an end in itself. The object of pistis is pistis itself. This easily leads to a rigid dogmatism. Salvation comes to be seen as acceptance of a specific body of dogma to the exclusion of all others. In Valentinianism and other forms of "Gnostic" Christianity, the object of pistis is gnosis. The teachings are seen as a series of metaphors that point to the higher reality of gnosis. This helps explain the diversity of thought found within Valentinianism.
    The study of Gnosticism entered a new phase, however, with the discovery of a large collection of Coptic Gnostic documents found at Nag-Hammadi (Chenoboskion) in Upper-Egypt in 1945. Before this discovery all our information on the Gnostic sects and doctrines relied on anti-Gnostic writings, such as those of SS. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius. This discovery has made available a wealth of original documents that are being studied now for the first time.
  • In the writings of the Greek Fathers (Wikipedia)
  • The "Gnostic" sects (Wikipedia)
  • The Gnostics in the Early Christian Era (Wikipedia)
  • In Greek Orthodox thought (Wikipedia)
    In the Eastern Orthodox Philokalia it was emphasized that such knowledge is not secret knowledge but rather a maturing, transcendent form of knowledge derived from contemplation....
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