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Gnostic   Listen
Gnostic  n.  (Eccl. Hist.) One of the so-called philosophers in the first ages of Christianity, who claimed a true philosophical interpretation of the Christian religion. Their system combined Oriental theology and Greek philosophy with the doctrines of Christianity. They held that all natures, intelligible, intellectual, and material, are derived from the Deity by successive emanations, which they called Eons.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Gnostic" Quotes from Famous Books

... which were worn as amulets. Subsequently its use spread beyond the Gnostics, and in modern times it is applied contemptuously (e g. by the early opponents of the evolution theory) to a conception or hypothesis which purports to be a simple solution of apparently insoluble phenomena. The Gnostic physician Serenus Sammonicus gave precise instructions as to its mystical use in averting or curing agues and fevers generally. The paper on which the word was written had to be folded in the form of a cross, suspended from the neck by a strip of linen ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... definite strain of mystical, almost Gnostic sensibility that shows up even among those hackers not actively involved with neo-paganism, Discordianism, or Zen. Hacker folklore that pays homage to 'wizards' and speaks of incantations and demons has too much psychological truthfulness about it to ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... gods enough in it to be divine," said Rose, taking it from Lu's hand and bringing it back to me. "All those very Gnostic deities who assisted at Creation. You are not afraid that the imprisoned things work their spells upon you? The oracle declares it suits your cousin best," he added, in ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 27, January, 1860 • Various

... development; otherwise it would become a collection of monographs, and thereby lose its proper value. I have endeavoured to subordinate everything to the aim of exhibiting the development which led to the ecclesiastical dogmas, and therefore have neither, for example, communicated the details of the gnostic systems, nor brought forward in detail the theological ideas of Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, etc. Even a history of Paulinism will be sought for in the book in vain. It is a task by itself, to trace the aftereffects of the theology of ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... of course it may be so. But, sir, that of which my ex-associates are ignorant, and which doubtless will astonish you, is that I have been many other things,—in religion, by turns a Protestant, a Papist, an Arian and Semi-Arian, a Manichean, a Gnostic, an Adamite even and a Pre-Adamite, a Sceptic, a Pelagian, a Socinian, an Anti-Trinitarian, and a Neo-Christian; [72] in philosophy and politics, an Idealist, a Pantheist, a Platonist, a Cartesian, an Eclectic (that is, a sort of juste-milieu), a Monarchist, an Aristocrat, ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... universal life in nature is as firmly rooted today as it was in the dawn of man's intellectual development. The form in which the idea has been presented has changed with the ages. Mythology succeeded animism, and has in turn yielded to many curious and vanished theories, polytheistic, gnostic, pantheistic, and the rest. Now, the belief in distinct beings behind natural phenomena has virtually disappeared. Not so the belief in some form of universal life or consciousness—of which belief representative types ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... presented himself to his normally elongated companions. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, had a tail, like the other ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... difficult matter for the mind familiar with the undoubted Oriental origin of the 'heresies' of the middle ages, to trace in the origin at least of the fierce and licentious socialists of Muenster the same secret influence which, flowing from Gnostic, Manichaean, or Templar sources, founded the Waldense and Albigense sects, and was afterward perceptible in a branch of the Hussites. At the time of the Reformation their ancient doctrines had subsided into Biblical fanaticism; ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... The Neo-Gnostic Church of Fabre des Essarts was condemned by Leo XIII with some severity as a revival of the old Albigensian heresy, with the addition of new false and impious doctrines, but it still has many followers. The Neo-Gnostics believe that this ...
— Modern Saints and Seers • Jean Finot

... among the heathen round, a number of delicate and graceful hymns, which remain to this day, and of which some have lately been translated into English. {160} Soft, sad, and dreamy as they were, they had strength and beauty enough in them to supersede the Gnostic hymns of Bardesanes and his son Harmonius, which had been long popular among the Syrians; and for centuries afterwards, till Christianity was swept away by the followers of Mahomet, the Syrian husbandman beguiled his toil with the pious and ...
— The Hermits • Charles Kingsley

... instruction and discipline, called a "path" (tar[i]qa), on which he advances through diverse "stations" (maq[a]m[a]t) or "passes" ('aqab[a]t) of the spiritual life. There is a striking resemblance here to the gnostic system, with its seven Archon-guarded gates. On another side, it is plain that the sheikh, along with ordinary instruction of the novice, also hypnotizes him and causes him to see a series of visions, marking his penetration ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

Words linked to "Gnostic" :   advocator, advocate, agnostic, proponent, gnosis

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