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Chapter Summary

Ever since the congress on the origins of Gnosticism held at Messina, Italy, in 1966, scholars have made a distinction between gnosis and Gnosticism. Today Gnosticism is defined as a religion in its own right, whose myths state that the Unknown God is not the creator (demiurge, YHVH). In the Book of Daniel, Adam Qadmon is called the Son of Man (that is, "divine Man"). In Thunder, Whole Mind, Sophia manifests herself as the wisdom of the Greeks and the gnōsis of the barbarians, the saint and the whore, the bridegroom and the bride. Like the Gnostics, Marcion distinguished between the Unknown God and a lower divinity, the demiurge, who is responsible for creation and interacts with man. Gnosticism became a world religion when Mani founded his alternative Christian church, which existed for more than a thousand years with adherents in lands from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Keywords: demiurge; divine man; Gnosticism; Mani; Marcion; Sophia; Unknown God



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