Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus
New York: Columbia University Press, 2008 pp. xiv + 307. $50.00
Description: Beyond Gnosticism suggests that scholars approach Valentinians as an early Christian group rather than as a representative of ancient "Gnosticism"-a term notoriously difficult to define. The study shows that Valentinian myths of origin are filled with references to lifestyle (such as the control of emotions), the Christian community, and society, providing students with ethical instruction and new insights into their position in the world. While scholars have mapped the religio-historical and philosophical backgrounds of Valentinian myth, they have yet to address the significance of these mythmaking practices or emphasize the practical consequences of Valentinians' theological views. In this groundbreaking study, Ismo Dunderberg provides a comprehensive portrait of a group hounded by other Christians after Christianity gained a privileged position in the Roman Empire.
Subjects: Nag Hammadi and Gnostic, Literature
Review by Marvin Meyer
Citation: Marvin Meyer, review of Ismo†O. Dunderberg, Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
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