When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

20 May, 2013

Heresy of the Week: Valentinianism

Week one of a two week series on major Gnostic sects (the other "major" sect, Mandaeism, was earlier this year).
Valentinianism is a Gnosticism-family heresy, starting in the 2nd century. It was one of the major Gnostic sects. Valentinianism is a very complex system of Aeons (heavenly archtypes representing 15 syzygies, or sexually complementary pairs), of whom Sophia is the most important (even though her weakness caused her to fall from Pleroma, the ‘fullness’). Like with most Gnostic sects, the Old Testament God was the Demiurge, the imperfect creator of the world. As man was the highest being created, he could participate in both the spiritual and material realms. Redemption consists of freeing oneself from the material world. Redemption is achieved by gaining gnosis, or knowledge. Knowledge, not faith, was the key to salvation. Many of what we consider today to be Gnostic Gospels came from the Valentinian sect. Sethianism is considered to be the forerunner of Valentinianism, and it is related to Basilidianism. Bardaisanitism is believed to have influenced Valentinianism.

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