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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter of the book presents Valentinianism more clearly within a second- and third-century Christian context, rather than on the periphery of early Christianity. Rather than viewing Gnostic sects as "aberrations" or "parasitical intrusions" into normative Christian groups, it is important to look at Valentinianism as a once living set of movements, where real people held to and debated over particular beliefs. In Interpretation of Knowledge. one can find a concern over moral behaviour, yet with a different formulation of insider-outsider relations. Whereas the Gospel of Truth anthropologically and antithetically demarks insiders from outsiders, Interp. Know. urges reconciliation between two types of Christians that are socially divided. Both Interp. Know. and Gos. Truth employ a model of conflict. Valentinian paraenesis, in these two instances at least, is essentially subversive paraenesis. The reconstruction of Valentinianism either historically or socially continues to be very difficult.

Keywords: Christian Paraenesis; Gospel of Truth; Interpretation of Knowledge; Valentinianism



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