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Blockbuster films like The Matrix and Stigmata have helped fuel the continued fascination with Gnosticism, a pre-Christian Western religion based on the direct knowledge of the Divine, which itself provides salvation. Although The Matrix conveys complex concepts like archons and dualism with marvelous simplicity, Gnostic texts do anything but. Curious new students of Gnosticism find they are swiftly bombarded with numerous foreign, often un-translated, and barely pronounceable terms like Acinetos and Deitharbathas. Now for the first time, a comprehensive guide to all aspects of Gnosticism and related spirituality is available to the public in a straightforward dictionary. 
As editor of The Gnostic magazine and author of several books on apocryphal scriptures, Andrew Phillip Smith draws on his extensive knowledge of Gnosticism to provide a succinct yet thorough compilation for scholars and spiritual seekers alike. Smith not only defines the terminology of the Nag Hammadi library and the ancient Gnostics, but also their successors such as the Manichaeans, Mandaeans and Cathars. His definitions also cover Hermeticism, the apocrypha, medieval heresy, dualism, and the modern Gnostic revival. 
An amazing storehouse of information, A Dictionary of Gnosticism, contains nearly 1,700 entries, from Aachiaram, an angel in the Secret Book of John, to the Zostrianos, a third-century Gnostic text that recounts a series of revelations on the successive stages of the soul’s ascent. With an easy-to-read introduction explaining who the Gnostics were and what Gnosticism is, Smith delivers a whirlwind tour through the ancient and diverse history of this captivating movement.

A Dictionary of Gnosticism

  • Andrew Phillip Smith
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