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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an introduction on Wilhelm Bousset's essays on the history of religions of the Hellenistic Age. The first essay of this collection can be viewed as Bousset's theological Testament. Bousset's researches on Gnosis have marked a new era of Gnosticism studies. The study of Bousset's work seems challenging and inspiring. Because he is always getting to the nub of the matter and his ideas have views of major religious-historical contexts, even if he is concerned with many tiny details. The essays were previously scattered over collective works or magazines, sometimes still unpublished. Their compilation will hopefully show their inner connection and thereby increase their effect. Here and there the author has indicated with the comments on backgrounds or relationships with later literature. The notes do not claim completeness. The original text of the chapter is in German.

Keywords: Gnosis; Gnosticism studies; Hellenistic Age; history of religions; theological Testament; Wilhelm Bousset



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