Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Note: Die Gnosis (Johanna Brankaer)

Johanna Brankaer has recently published a compact book in German that introduces readers to ancient Gnosis. The title: Die Gnosis: Texte und Kommentar (Wiesbaden: Marix, 2010). She wrestles with the questions: Was there a Gnostic religion? What was the role of women in ancient Gnosis? What was the relationship of Gnosis, Christianity, and philosophy?

The book is divided into sections that cover ancient Gnostic mythology, Gnostic thinkers, Sethianism as classic Gnosis, A Gnostic church?, Gnosis as a Christian experiment, Women in Gnostic traditions, and then a small commentary section which covers some of the basic primary literature: Ptolemy's Letter to Flora, Rheginus, Ap John, Hypostasis of Archons, Trimorphic Protennoia, Letter of Petter to Philip, Gos Mary, Exegesis on the Soul, Gos of Thom, Gos Egy, Three Steles, Allogenes (NHC), Apoc Peter, Gos Jud (CT3).

It is not meant to be an exhaustive overview of the field with a thousand footnotes (for which I am thankful!). Rather it is a valuable pocket book, presenting Brankaer's own perspective on the literature and the questions of ancient Gnosis. A fine contribution to the field. As an addendum, it contains her German translation of the Gospel of Judas.


Boudewijn Koole van Brigdamme said...

Thanks a lot : it seems indeed a very informative book, according to the Amazon preview!

Boudewijn Koole, Holland

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