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Volume 13, Issue Supplement, 2015

Dualismes: Doctrines religieuses et traditions philosophiques

Jean‑Daniel Dubois
Pages 351-370

Gnose, dualisme et les textes de Nag‑Hammadi

Gnostic studies in the XXeth century have been influenced by Hans Jonas’ The Gnostic Religion and his existentialist approach of Gnostic movements, until the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi texts, in 1945, gave access to a series of documents coming from the Gnostics themselves. Progressively, the panorama of Gnostic sects and movements deeply changed, calling into question the notion of “dualism” used by the Church Fathers when refuting their Gnostic opponents. If Plotinus criticizes the Gnostic contempt of the world and their life without ethics, the recently commented texts from Nag Hammadi attest the use of the Platonic demiurge understood in the frame of the biblical version of the creation. The beauty of the world is not absent from Gnostic texts. The role of the Gnostic demiurge in documents like the Apocryphon of John or the Valentinian Tripartite Tractate, for example, shows that access to salvation is possible in a philosophical and theological system that is monistic. The heresiological category of “dualism” has too often hindered the study of the Gnostics which does not correspond to what the new documentation brings out.

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