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︎ Gnosticism and Materialism


Jan 18, 2022


How can gnosticism - often perceived as an anti-materialist heresy - help us to think about what materialism might mean for today, in a world in which the virtual has transformed our understanding of reality? By revisiting some of the ideas of gnostic thinkers (and their critics), in particular anti-cosmism and the perennial conceptual 'threat' of dualism, we can shed light upon what knowledge means, where gnostic ideas remain today, in our apparently secular age, and adopt a critical conception of materialism tempered by concerns largely regarded as 'fringe' beliefs. This paper will draw on the work of Georges Bataille, Ioan P. Couliano, Hans Jonas and others.


(Nina Power)