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Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae) [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   211
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.75" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004104011  
EAN  9789004104013  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
This monograph represents a critical juncture in Thomas studies since it dispels the belief that the Gospel of Thomas originates from gnostic traditions. Rather, Jewish mystical and Hermetic origins are proposed and examined. Following this analysis, the anthropogony and soteriology of Thomas are discussed. The Thomasites taught that they were the elect children of the Father, originating from the Light. The human, however, became unworthy of these luminous beginnings and was separated from the divine when Adam sinned. Now he must purify himself by leading an encratite lifestyle. He is to ascend into heaven, seeking a visio dei which will transform him into his original immortal state and grant him citizenship in the Kingdom.



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The most significant recent study of the Gospel of Thomas  Nov 5, 1999
This study, by a student and collaborator of Jarl Fossum, is the most significant contribution to the study of the Gospel of Thomas in the last decade because it locates its distinctive vocabulary and themes in an identifiable historical and communal context: the practice of heavenly ascent in the early Jewish Christian ascetic communities of Syria (in this instance, encratite communities). Building on the work of Gilles Quispel and others, the author identitfies the Thomas sayings material which refer to the preparation for, the ascent journey as a passage through angelic gates, and the vision of the Divine Glory or Anthropos. The parallels in vocabulary, ritual structure, and forms of visionary experience to Hermetic and Hekhaloth literature are carefully described. The distinctive theme of ascent to the Divine Glory as a salvific event is explored. This study is a valuable contribution to recent studies of the practice of heavenly ascent in early Christianity, e.g., J. Knight on the Ascension of Isaiah pseudegraph, and J. Baumgarten's study of the Book of Elkasai, to earlier studies of ascent and visonary experiences among Gnostic groups, e.g., Nag Hammadi Apocalypses of James, and recent work on the heavenly ascent in Hekhaloth literature, e.g., N. Deutsch and C. Morray-Jones.
 

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