The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism

The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism

The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism
The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism
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About the Book Available at
From its earliest days, Christianity has been marked by a rich diversity of beliefs and practices. Most of these divergent Christian movements were lost to history until the twentieth century, when the discovery of ancient documents opened a new window on the development of Christianity.

"The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism and Other Vanished Christianities" is a fascinating look at groups such as the Gnostics, Sethians, Valentinians, Marcionites, and other early challengers to orthodoxy. You'll also meet the Encratites, who renounced sex and alcohol; Montanists, who ordained women; "Fools for Christ," who acted crazily as a sign of grace; and many others. And you'll learn what is contained in the "lost" gospels, including the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Mary, and the Gospel of Thomas.

Publishers Weekly praises the book's "compact, entertaining style that is sure to please the casual reader." Written by Richard L. Valantasis, a renowned scholar of Christian origins, with a preface by "Jesus Seminar" scholar Marcus Borg, this invaluable guide is a wonderful introduction to the study of early Christianity in all its broad diversity. Buy it now.
Sample the Book
"Imagine for a moment that Gnostic Christianity had survived the early process of natural selection and that what we now call Christianity had become extinct..."
How Much Do You Know?
What does "gnosis" mean? Which sect practiced spiritual marriage? Which believers went naked in an attempt to go back to Eden? Take this quiz to see how much you know about the diverse forms of early Christianity.

1. Where have many Gnostic Christian texts been found?

a. In a stone ark in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre
b. In a crypt beneath the Louvre
c. In the mountains near Nag Hammadi in Egypt
d. In a monastery in Wales

Click here to take the quiz.

Plus: Have a question about Gnosticism and vanished Christianities? Ask our author!

Beliefnet Guide author Richard Valantasis answers reader questions.

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