Gnosticism - The Enduring Heresy

Ref: C2341748

Gnosticism is a religious form of philosophical dualism that can be traced roughly from the time of Plato, through early Christianity, and to the Middle Ages, when it was violently quashed by Catholic forces during the Albigensian Crusade in France. However, with the Italian Renaissance and the rediscovery of ancient texts, Gnosticism reappeared in western culture and has been popular off and on ever since. This course will look at Gnosticism's philosophical roots, then trace its development through early Christianity, the Renaissance, and conclude by examining some gnostic beliefs still practiced today.

Course aim

A look at the ideas and beliefs associated with Gnosticism, when and where these ideas have arisen over the past 2500 years, and how these have been deemed heretical by the Catholic Church.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain in broad outlines what Gnosticism is.
  • Show how Gnosticism is rooted in certain Greek philosophical ideas and explain how it has developed over the past 2500 years.
  • List some of the Catholic Church's objections to Gnosticism.
  • Recognize and describe some Gnostic ideas and practices in contemporary culture.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There are many YouTube videos to be found on 'The Problem of Evil' if students want to get a philosophical feel for the area to be covered.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Gnosticism - The Enduring Heresy

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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
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