Carrier on "gnosticism"

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:36 pm

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/17119

So, Gnosticism doesn't exist, according to Carrier.

I am never interested to Gnosticism as pride for possession of gnosis, since any religion brandishes a stupid gnosis. If Gnosticism was only cult of a gnosis, I would have never quoted it.

What I fear is that the rejection of gnosticism as category may imply also the rejection of an useful feature of it that was at the origin of the euhemerization of Jesus: hostility against YHWH.

I should ask to Carrier why he minimizes that feature, when his explanatory power is so powerful to explain why all that ossessive insistence that Jesus was the Christ of YHWH made it more and more necessary his euhemerization. Jesus had to be reduced to a mere pious Jew on earth because only as a pious Jew he could prove his provenance from YHWH as supreme god, and not from an alien and unknown Father.

That is my point: Jesus was not only reduced to a mere man. He was reduced to a Jew. To raise this distinction is not racism, because otherwise you see the finger (the distinction between presumed "human races") and not the moon (the true clash in action: who is really the supreme god who sent Jesus).

And just when Carrier himself recognizes that the Valentinians talked about a cosmic cross in outer space.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by GakuseiDon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:35 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:36 pm
https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/17119

So, Gnosticism doesn't exist, according to Carrier.
No, he doesn't quite say that. He says Gnosticism is "an invention of modern scholars; an interpretive category, it turns out, that refers to no actual thing that existed in antiquity."

There are a number of modern terms to categorise ancient thinking that was never used by the ancient people themselves. Things like "Middle Platonism", "rising-and-dying gods", "docetists", "mystery religions". Trying to fit a religion into one of those categories tends to de-emphasize the bits that don't fit. So Dr Carrier has a point. It's kind of ironic, though, given that he is serious in wanting to create a category of beings dying "in outer space".
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Giuseppe
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:04 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:35 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:36 pm
https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/17119

So, Gnosticism doesn't exist, according to Carrier.
No, he doesn't quite say that.
Clearly I have resumed rapidly what you wanted to say, by saying the quote above.

As to the category of beings dying in outer space, where is the irony? If the hell was placed in outer space by the Jews of the time, and if the hell is a continue death, then you have already that category, without need of a Carrier for invent it.

Please don't take any occasion to criticize Carrier, even going off topic (sic). By doing so, it seems that you are against him on a personal level.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by GakuseiDon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:47 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:04 pm
Please don't take any occasion to criticize Carrier, even going off topic (sic). By doing so, it seems that you are against him on a personal level.
Fair point.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:55 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:47 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:04 pm
Please don't take any occasion to criticize Carrier, even going off topic (sic). By doing so, it seems that you are against him on a personal level.
Fair point.
Translation:
Please don't criticize the choice authors whom I whole-cloth subscribe to (sic) as any such criticism would potentially be a criticism of myself.

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:12 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:35 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:36 pm
https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/17119

So, Gnosticism doesn't exist, according to Carrier.
No, he doesn't quite say that. He says Gnosticism is "an invention of modern scholars; an interpretive category, it turns out, that refers to no actual thing that existed in antiquity."

There are a number of modern terms to categorise ancient thinking that was never used by the ancient people themselves. Things like "Middle Platonism", "rising-and-dying gods", "docetists", "mystery religions". Trying to fit a religion into one of those categories tends to de-emphasize the bits that don't fit. So Dr Carrier has a point. It's kind of ironic, though, given that he is serious in wanting to create a category of beings dying "in outer space".
Modern scholars didn't coin the term "gnosticism".

Not only that, "mythicism" is itself just another modern category that never existed in antiquity. What even is his point?

Modern ideas of geology, astronomy or biology didn't exist in antiquity either.

Carrier just shows himself to be a self satisfied schmuck, or SSS for short.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:06 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:12 am
Modern scholars didn't coin the term "gnosticism".
afaik, the term was coined in the 17th century by Henry More, variably said to have been either
  • when he applied it to 2nd century CE religious groups who had called themselves gnostikoi; or
  • in a commentary on the seven letters of the Book of Revelation, where More is said to have used the term 'Gnosticisme' to describe a heresy in Thyatira.
Perhaps he did both.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:10 am

Joseph D.L., in this forum you, NOT me, have introduced for the first time the war between mythicists and historicists.

if you want to insult mythicism/mythicists and/or deny his existence with so arrogant terms, then you should write in the blog of Tim O'Neill, an anti-mythicist atheist like you.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

davidmartin
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by davidmartin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:25 am

I thought the definition of 'Gnosticism' had been settled

It goes something like, yes there were sects who seemed to call themselves 'gnostics' in the 2nd century
Or if they didn't call themselves that then their opponents did
However this ancient usage only referred to one or two sects
Nowadays the term covers a variety of the ancient sects that were never called by that name, eg the valentinians
In that sense this usage is a modern phenomena
But if Carrier is saying it never existed he is being a jerk

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Carrier on "gnosticism"

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:28 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:06 am
Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:12 am
Modern scholars didn't coin the term "gnosticism".
afaik, the term was coined in the 17th century by Henry More, variably said to have been either
  • when he applied it to 2nd century CE religious groups who had called themselves gnostikoi; or
  • in a commentary on the seven letters of the Book of Revelation, where More is said to have used the term 'Gnosticisme' to describe a heresy in Thyatira.
Perhaps he did both.
"Gnosticism", or γνωστικός, was used by Irenaeus mockingly to denote heretical Christian sects such as Valentanians, Borborites, Marcosians... basically anything other than his sect. But mockingly or not, Irenaeus isn't a "modern" scholar.

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