Voices of Gnosticism: Interviews with Elaine Pagels, Marvin Meyer, Bart Ehrman, Bruce Chilton and Other Leading Scholars (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/11/20
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For several years, Miguel Conner has engaged the most prominent writers and scholars on Gnosticism and early Christianity on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio. These interviews with 13 leading scholars represent one of the best ways to get to know ancient Gnosticism, the movement that has inspired Dan Brown, Philip Pullman, Philip K. Dick and The Matrix movies. Read what the best minds have to say about the Gnostic sects, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, Mary Magdalene, heresy, the origins of Gnosticism, and the original teachings of Jesus. Elaine Pagels * Marvin Meyer * Bart Ehrman * Bruce Chilton * Stevan Davies * David Fideler * Birger Pearson * John Turner * Einar Thomassen * Jason BeDuhn * Karen King * Jane Schaberg * April DeConick "Gets at the Gnostics as they were, not as many people today would like them to be." Bruce Chilton, author of The Way of Jesus and Rabbi Paul "Aeon Byte is one of the most exciting and far-seeing programs in the world of Webcasting." Richard Smoley, author of Forbidden Faith, The Dice Game of Shiva, and Inner Christianity "A great help to all who possess an interest in and/or devotion to the Gnostic tradition. Warmly recommended!" Stephan Hoeller, author of Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing and Jung and the Lost Gospels "An invaluable resource for those interested in the history and continuing relevance of Gnosticism." Sean Martin, author of The Gnostics: The First Christian Heretics, The Cathars, and The Knights Templar "Sophia and her aeonic friends should be delighted." Marvin Meyer, author of The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, The Gospels of Mary "You are holding in your hands a Gnostic gem, a book that contains the rich wisdom of thirteen world-renowned scholars who study Gnosticism and the classical world." April D. DeConick, author of The Thirteenth Apostle
If you have ever thought it might be interesting to sit down for an informal converstation with "the people who write these books on Gnosticism" -- the books you will find widely referenced and recommended on The Gnosis Archive (gnosis.org) -- then you will very much enjoy this book. While the interviews are animated by the personal commitment each of these scholars feels for Gnostic tradition, they also reveal the wide range of perspectives that now focus on Gnostic studies. These interviews provide one of the best ways to get to know ancient Gnosticism, as seen through the eyes of its best informed modern students. This is fun, easy, and informative reading.
Special attention is offered to Mary Magdalene, the controversial Gospel of Judas, as well as to incredibly fascinating sects of early Christianity that eventually all but disappeared from history. Thanks to the discovery of ancient texts like those found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt, we have a whole new perspective on the earliest generations of Jesus devotees. Voices of Gnosticism helps us lay readers get a handle on who these people were and what they really believed.
Kudos to the author/publisher for not putting digital rights management (DRM) controls on this book. Several weeks ago, I swore off ever buying another book with DRM from Amazon because it prevented me from being able to load it into my library manager - Calibre - and read it with Calibre's internal reader.
As for the content of the book, itself, as a relatively new student of Gnosticism (BTW, I make no apologies to Professor Pagels for the use of this term), I found it extremely invaluable. By bringing together some of the most knowledgeable people on this subject and, in an interview format in which the interlocutor appears to be as knowledgeable as his guests, I was able to grasp the differences between the various Gnostic traditions, the subtlety of which, until now, had mostly confused me.
For one who might be swimming in all the books on Gnosticism, wondering which way to go, Voices gives you a very good sense of who you might want to read next. For my part, I will be avoiding Professors Pagels and King (two individuals who seem not to recognize that Gnostic Christianity is different enough from Orthodox Christianity to deserve its own category) and, instead, moving in the direction of folks like Professors Meyer and DeConick whose views, while starkly different on the role of Judas, both serve to enlighten the reader on some of the core beliefs of Gnosticism.