Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Gnostic Rituals From A Cognitive Perspective

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The analysis of early Christian rituals faces two major challenges. The first has to do with the theoretical basis of such an analysis and the second with the evidence to be analyzed or explained. Scholars of early Christianity have generally approached their subject from theological or intellectualist perspectives, preferring belief to action, thought-world to social world, or myth to ritual. This chapter tests the applicability of a recent cognitive model, advanced by the anthropologist Harvey Whitehouse, on early Christian evidence. Cognitive approaches are themselves quite a novelty in the study of early Christianity and differ in many significant ways. The second challenge is further intensified if one focuses on what are usually called "gnostic" groups or movements among early Christians. The scholarly construct of "Gnosticism" is currently a subject of lively discussion, but even without that, we are faced with huge problems in defining the evidence.

Keywords: cognitive model; early Christian rituals; gnostic groups; Harvey Whitehouse



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation