By Cyril O'Regan
Appears on the impact of Gnosticism in glossy highbrow historical past, philosophy, and theology.
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I also note the differences in epistemological incidence between modern narrative discourses in the third line of Protestant thought and the classical Gnostic or Valentinian paradigms. In addition, I reflect on the ways in which the presence of narrative discourses such as apocalyptic, Neoplatonism, and Kabbalah in the third line of Protestant discourses contribute directly to specifying their difference from the classical Valentinian paradigms while indirectly contributing to their basic Valentinianism.
This is not to say that there is not a critical element visà-vis the definition of modernity in Die christliche Gnosis. Not only does Christianity have available alternatives to confessional orthodoxies, but whatever the essential constitution of modernity—and Baur does not contest its methodological foundationalist leanings, its this-worldly proclivities, and its tendency toward univocal discourse—full description has to allow for the presence of narrative discourses that are not formally methodological, nor reductively this-worldly, nor purely nonsymbolic.
Staudenmaier repeats more than one Baurian genealogy in his prolific output in the 1840s, but in one drift at least Zum religiösen Frieden der Zukunft (1845–1851) recalls the Gnostic genealogy of Die christliche Gnosis. , Boehme) and has its crescendo in German Idealism. Balthasar also recalls the complete plotline of Baur’s Gnostic genealogical thesis. 28 Other aspects of Redeeming and Reconstructing Baur’s Model 33 Baur’s scheme are filled out in his great trilogy. 30 At the very least, a strong analogy is implied between Gnosticism on the one hand, and Boehme and German Idealism on the other, since as the antitype of the theological aesthetics of Irenaeus, Gnosticism is a singularly intense version of an aesthetic theology that includes Boehme and German Idealism as representatives.
Gnostic return in modernity by Cyril O'Regan