idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Thema Corona

Science Video Project

idw-News App:


Google Play Store



Share on: 
11/23/2018 - 11/23/2018 | Berlin

Lecture | The Coherence of "Gnosticism" | 23.11.2018, 18:00 Uhr

Eine Veranstaltung des Akademienvorhabens „Die alexandrinische und antiochenische Bibelexegese in der Spätantike“ im Zentrum Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Theologischen Fakultät der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

In recent research, the concept of "Gnosticism" has been heavily criticized. It is said to have originated as a label invented by ancient Christian heresiologists to denounce alternative interpretations of Christianity. The concept therefore reflects a normative theological bias, invites stereotypical generalizations, and does not give justice to the diversity of the historical evidence. As a result of this criticism, however, the common characteristics of the phenomenon have received less attention, and new attempts at synthesis are now desirable. In particular, the lecture will try to reconstruct a logic of development for two themes that both had constitutive importance for the "gnostic" movement: (1) the idea of a pre-existent Human Being which is prominent in the earliest sources, but also an important, though often unrecognized, element in the later Valentinian systems; and (2) the story of Sophia, a basic feature of "gnostic" mythmaking whose historical alterations across the various sources have nevertheless been insufficiently studied.

Einar Thomassen was trained as a historian of religions specializing in Nag Hammadi studies in Bergen, Paris, and St. Andrews. After previous appointments at Uppsala and Oslo he has been Professor of Religion at the University of Bergen since 1993. He is currently President of the European Association for the Study of Religions.

Christoph Markschies - Academy Member, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Lecture: The Coherence of "Gnosticism"
Einar Thomassen - University of Bergen

Information on participating / attending:
The event is for free. Please register until 16.11.2018:


11/23/2018 18:00 - 11/23/2018 21:00

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt, Einstein-Saal, Jägerstraße 22/23
10117 Berlin

Target group:

all interested persons

Email address:


transregional, national

Subject areas:

Cultural sciences, History / archaeology, Religion, Social studies

Types of events:

Presentation / colloquium / lecture




Kirsten Schröder


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Event is free:


Language of the text:


URL of this event:

attachment icon Veranstaltungsflyer


Search / advanced search of the idw archives
Combination of search terms

You can combine search terms with and, or and/or not, e.g. Philo not logy.


You can use brackets to separate combinations from each other, e.g. (Philo not logy) or (Psycho and logy).


Coherent groups of words will be located as complete phrases if you put them into quotation marks, e.g. “Federal Republic of Germany”.

Selection criteria

You can also use the advanced search without entering search terms. It will then follow the criteria you have selected (e.g. country or subject area).

If you have not selected any criteria in a given category, the entire category will be searched (e.g. all subject areas or all countries).