Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2020

Religions of Transformation

Religions of Transformation

Chapter:
(p.136) Chapter 7 Religions of Transformation
Source:
Religions of the Constantinian Empire
Author(s):

Mark Edwards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.003.0007

Chapter 7 observes that religions which might be described as esoteric or transformative acquire an unprecedented prominence in this period. The polemic of Alexander of Lycopolis against the Manichees is annotated from Manichaean sources, and it is argued that the author is likely to have been a Christian. The second section notes that, just as the Manichaeans (after Diocletian) survived as a Christian heresy, so the Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi suggest a symbiotic relationship between Gnostic thought and that of the monasteries. In the third section it is shown that the literature ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus is quoted chiefly in Christian sources of the fourth century; the fourth section maintains that Zosimus the alchemist is rightly characterized by W. B. Scott as a ‘Christian Gnostic’. Hence it appears that Christianity sometimes promoted innovation and diversity in religious practice, even outside the confines of the church.

Keywords:   esotericism, Alexander of Lycopolis, Manichaeans, Hermes Trismegistus, Gnostics, alchemy, Zosimus, Nag Hammadi

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .