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The Dictionary of Gnosticism – by Andrew Phillip Smith

The Dictionary of Gnosticism – by Andrew Phillip Smith

Gnosis is direct spiritual experience, knowledge of the divine without
intermediary or any controlling authority. Th ose who practiced it in the
ancient world were known as Gnostics, and the web of historical individuals
and movements, systems, and teachings that are linked to these
ancient Gnostics is Gnosticism. Ancient Gnosticism has a high degree of
spiritual relevance for the contemporary seeker. Aspects of the Gnostic
worldview, such as alienation from society, distrust of religious authority,
creative mythmaking, and direct personal spiritual experience, echo
in the hearts of modern spiritual seekers. Th ough there have been many
forms of mystical or esoteric Christianity (or inner Christianity, to use
the helpful term proposed by Richard Smoley), the Gnostics are particularly
notable because of their prominent position in the early history of

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