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Apocalypse of the Alien God: Platonism and the Exile of by Dylan M. Burns

By Dylan M. Burns

In the second one century, Platonist and Judeo-Christian suggestion have been sufficiently pleasant Greek thinker may claim, "What is Plato yet Moses conversing Greek?" 400 years later, a Christian emperor had ended the general public educating of subversive Platonic idea. while and the way did this philosophical rupture happen? Dylan M. Burns argues that the basic holiday happened in Rome, ca. 263, within the circle of the good mystic Plotinus, writer of the Enneads. teams of debatable Christian metaphysicians known as Gnostics ("knowers") frequented his seminars, disputed his perspectives, after which disappeared from the historical past of philosophy—until the 1945 discovery, at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, of codices containing Gnostic literature, together with models of the books circulated by way of Plotinus's Christian rivals. mixing state of the art Greek metaphysics and ecstatic Jewish mysticism, those texts describe strategies for coming into celestial geographical regions, engaging within the angelic liturgy, confronting the transcendent God, or even changing into a divine being oneself. additionally they describe the revelation of an alien God to his opt for, a race of "foreigners" lower than the security of the patriarch Seth, whose interventions will finally culminate finally of the world.

Apocalypse of the Alien God proposes a thorough interpretation of those long-lost apocalypses, putting them firmly within the context of Judeo-Christian authorship instead of ascribing them to a pagan offshoot of Gnosticism. based on Burns, this Sethian literature emerged alongside the fault traces among Judaism and Christianity, drew on traditions identified to students from the lifeless Sea Scrolls and Enochic texts, and eventually catalyzed the competition of Platonism with Christianity. Plunging the reader into the tradition wars and school rooms of the excessive Empire, Apocalypse of the Alien God deals the main concrete social and historic description to be had of any workforce of Gnostic Christians because it explores the intersections of old Judaism, Christianity, Hellenism, fantasy, and philosophy.

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Additional info for Apocalypse of the Alien God: Platonism and the Exile of Sethian Gnosticism (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion)

Sample text

I have already outlined this position in the first volume5 of this trilogy: the method is imposed by the object, not the subject. And since the religious sense is a phenomenon of the person, the method to approach it - and this should be faced again and again - is self-reflection. That Christ did or did not say he was God, whether he is God or not, and the fact that he is still reaching us even today, is an historical issue. The method, therefore, must correspond to it and be as serious as the problem itself.

41 The Problem in History a) Syntony with the Object in Time Here we can recall the initial point we made in the first volume in this trilogy concerning existential certainty: "I will be able to be certain about you, to the extent that I pay more attention to your life, that is, that I share in your life. The signs leading to certainty become multiplied in the measure in which you pay attention to them. For example, in the Gospel, who was able to understand the need to trust that man? "14 This is to say that in order to know an object one must be tuned to it and this requires an active disposition which is developed through time and by living with the object.

It was not he alone who suffered; everything around him i8 The Christian Claim was falling into ruins, crumbling away - the palace, the towers and the gardens. Animals no longer bred, trees bore no more fruit, the springs were drying up. Many doctors had tried to cure the Fisher King, all without the least success. The knights were arriving there day and night, each of them asking first of all for news of the King's health. But one knight - poor, unknown and even slightly ridiculous - took the liberty of disregarding ceremony and politeness: his name was Parsifal.

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