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Ancient Gnosis as transfer of knowledge

Project by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Christoph Markschies

The project focuses on the ancient movement of Gnosis, to which most of the texts from the so-called find of Nag Hammadi are related, and aims at an complete presentation.

The main thesis of this extensive study is that neither a religious historical classification of texts and text-producing groups as "Jewish", "Christian" or "pagan" characterizes the movement sufficiently well, nor a sociological description as the religion of disappointed intellectuals, but rather a precise description of the transfer of knowledge and Wissensoikonomien. The results of the discussion of the Collaborative Research Centre's findings on the close connection between transfer of knowledge, genre and institution are also part of the study. Furthermore, insights from the material-cultural examination of manuscripts in the transfer of knowledge will also be taken up here.

The new interpretation of Gnosis unfolded here is intended to present fundamental insights of the Collaborative Research Centre and the sub-project on one of the most controversial topics of ancient or Christian religious and intellectual history and thus to contribute to a final synthesis.