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gnosis  Term Image (γνωσις) Script Image
(Language:  Greek)
Alternate Spellings:
Short Description: knowledge
Long Description: (A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may ‘know God’ ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII).
Source(s): (A) The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity, by Frithjof Schuon, edited by Dr. James S. Cutsinger (B) The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy, by Dr. Algis Uždavinys
Notes & References:
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Related Terms:
Provided By: Dictionary of Spiritual Terms