Agnosticism is the idea (or philosophy) that something (such as the Deity) cannot or should not be known. Gnosticism (from ‘gnosis:’ knowledge) is the idea (or philosophy) that something (such as human or even divine spirit) can and should be known: it is a synonym for epistemology.

What are the Gnostic beliefs?

In general, Gnostics taught cosmological dualism, strict asceticism, repudiation of material creation as evil, docetism, and the existence of the divine spark in humans.

Do Gnostics believe in Jesus?

Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth, while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained enlightenment through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same.

What is the difference between Gnostic and atheist?

Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god. In contrast, the word agnostic refers to a person who neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible to know how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.

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What does Gnostic mean in religion?

Gnosticism is the belief that human beings contain a piece of God (the highest good or a divine spark) within themselves, which has fallen from the immaterial world into the bodies of humans. All physical matter is subject to decay, rotting, and death.

Who are Gnostics today?

The Mandaeans are an ancient Gnostic ethnoreligious group that have survived and are found today in Iran, Iraq and diaspora communities in North America, Western Europe and Australia. The late 19th century saw the publication of popular sympathetic studies making use of recently rediscovered source materials.

Do Gnostics believe in the Bible?

The Gnostics, in their reading of Scripture, acknowledged no such debt; for they believed that the Hebrew Bible was the written revelation of an inferior creator god (dêmiourgos), filled with lies intended to cloud the minds and judgment of the spiritual human beings (pneumatikoi) whom this Demiurge was intent on …

What does Gnostic mean in the Bible?

: the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.

Who was the founder of Gnosticism?

The designation gnosticism is a term of modern scholarship. It was first used by the English poet and philosopher of religion Henry More (1614–87), who applied it to the religious groups referred to in ancient sources as gnostikoi (Greek: “those who have gnosis, or ‘knowledge’ ”).

Do agnostics believe in afterlife?

Agnostics think that it is impossible to know whether there is a God or life after death. Atheists believe that there is no God and no life after death and that death is the cessation of the existence of the individual. Agnostics & atheists have reported having near-death experiences.

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What is it called when you believe in God but not religion?

While the Nones include agnostics and atheists, most people in this category retain a belief in God or some higher power. Many describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” or “SBNR,” as researchers refer to them.

Do agnostics pray?

The study has revealed that one in four atheists and agnostics pray on a regular basis in times of personal crisis. Atheists and agnostics reported that the most common reason for them to pray is during a tragedy, but 25 percent of these individuals admitted to also praying for comfort or simply out of loneliness.

Do Gnostics believe in sin?

Therefore, although Gnostics, like other Christians, find salvation through the messages of Jesus, Gnostics seek salvation not from sin but from “the ignorance of which sin is a consequence.” The gnostics believe that the evil creator God and his angels cause this ignorance.

How does Gnosticism differ from Christianity?

Gnostics were dualists and worshipped two (or more) gods; Christians were monists and worshipped one God. Gnostics focused on eradication of ignorance; Christian concern was the eradication of sin. Both had a redeemer.

Do Gnostics believe in reincarnation?

Modern proponents of ancient Gnosticism claim that Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the early Church fathers embraced reincarnation. However, their attempts to associate reincarnation with early Christianity belie their metaphysical bias, which is the basis of their historical revisionism.

What does Gnostic mean in the Bible?

: the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.

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What did the Gnostics believe about sin?

Therefore, although Gnostics, like other Christians, find salvation through the messages of Jesus, Gnostics seek salvation not from sin but from “the ignorance of which sin is a consequence.” The gnostics believe that the evil creator God and his angels cause this ignorance.

What are the 4 Gnostic Gospels?

The discovery of 13 books containing 52 texts in the Nile River valley of Egypt in 1945 called Nag Hammadi opened the door for the history of early Christianism and the teachings of four Gnostic gospels called; the secret book of James, the gospel of Thomas, the book of Thomas and secret book of John.

What was the goal of the Gnostics?

Their goal was release from unconsciousness and ignorance, or incomprehension. Humans who possess the divine spark can find their freedom only in learning of its source, how it came to be entrapped in the material world, and how it can escape to return to its original realm.

What are the four Gnostic religions?

For now, the four groups I am talking about are the Ecclesia Gnostica, the Apostolic Johannite Church, the Ordo Templi Orientis and the Gnostic Movement of Samael Aun Weor.

Is the Gospel of John Gnostic?

Gnostics read John but interpreted it differently from the way non-Gnostics did. Gnosticism taught that salvation came from gnosis, secret knowledge, and Gnostics did not see Jesus as a savior but a revealer of knowledge.

Why was Gnosticism rejected by the church?

Irenaeus and other Christian theologians dismissed gnosticism as pretentious but dangerous nonsense. Along with Irenaeus and others, the writers of the later New Testament books seem to have opposed early gnosticism.

About the Author

While living in a residential meditation and yoga ashram from 1999 to 2013, Leon devoted his life to the study and practice of meditation.
He accumulated about 15,000 hours of practice over many longer immersion retreats, including hours of silent meditation, chanting, prostrations, and mantra.
While participating in a "meditation marathon," he once sat in meditation for 40 hours straight. More importantly, he fell in love with meditation during this time.

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