By Natanela Elias (auth.)
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Additional info for The Gnostic Paradigm: Forms of Knowing in English Literature of the Late Middle Ages
The Gospel was written in a style very similar to the Gnostic text, “The Trimorphic Protennoia” which provides a sense of secret revelation in which salvation is present and attainable for the initiate. His treatment of the concept of Logos again seems to draw on the Gnostic tradition in its similarity to the concept of Wisdom and the entire notion of Jesus as teacher imparting wisdom to the believers. This would result in a sense of estrangement as the initiates must face the hatred of the world “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” ( John, 17:14).
Their ideas were inf luenced by the Bulgarian Bogomils, who themselves had their roots in ancient Gnosticism. In “The Book of John the Evangelist,” a Cathar text, fallen Satan takes on the role of the Old Testament God, creator of the world and of everything that is in it. ”46 Christ’s role is thus to teach “foolish” men of the truth, awaken them from their imposed devilish stupor, and salvage them from their dark existence—ideas that percolate into the canonical Gospel of John as well. The Gospel was written in a style very similar to the Gnostic text, “The Trimorphic Protennoia” which provides a sense of secret revelation in which salvation is present and attainable for the initiate.
This outlook offers a new angle of view on the blaze of religious renewals that are visible in the later Middle Ages, especially as those touch the laity in the period, prominently the thoughtful and aff luent ones. More specifically, this study shows how the literary works discussed may have possibly presented a religious reaction that was part of a growing movement that took its sources from the pre-Christian past and incorporated it into the problematic present. While the Lollards, a mid-later-fourteenthcentury English heretical group, end up being pretty dour and bitter anticlerical types, this specific form of the antiquated gnostic heresy provides another way which stirred that which could and could not be expressed, opening the question in a completely new manner.
The Gnostic Paradigm: Forms of Knowing in English Literature of the Late Middle Ages by Natanela Elias (auth.)