Submitted my first paper and talked it over with my supervisor yesterday. It was on Gnosticism and whether ‘Gnosticism’ is the name of a coherent alternative to Christianity. It was not an area I would have picked out for myself, but I’m glad I looked into it a bit more—I had gotten the impression that Gnosticism was a movement that began outside of the Christian Church, and it now seems fairly clear that that wasn’t the case. Gnosticism began as a heresy and continued as such for most (if not all) of its existence.
One of the real benefits was taking the time to read what is generally thought to be the most influential Gnostic text: The Apocryphon of John, a post-resurrection conversation between the apostle John and Jesus, where Jesus settles John’s uncertainties by engaging in a series of long soliloquies that unpack a Gnostic understanding of the beginning of Life, the Universe, and Everything, as well as the nature of salvation. Several things struck me as a consequence of the research.