REL 276
Gnosis, Gnostics, Gnosticism Spring 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed COMP 258
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Class Details

Reality is not what it seems. Salvation by knowledge, arch-heresy, an eternal source of mystical insights and experiences, secret esoteric teachings available only to a few. All these and more have been claims made about gnosis, Gnostics, and Gnosticism. This course will introduce you to the key ancient texts and ideas associated with Gnostics in modern forms of esotericism and spiritualities. We shall explore how claims about gnosis offer modes of critiquing and seeking to transform unjust social and political systems.
The Class: Format: lecture; lecture/discussion
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3686
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly GLOW posts, 1 textual analysis paper, 1 historiographical analysis paper, and a final paper that entails a revision and expansion of earlier writing for the course.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: students with prior coursework in biblical or other ancient literature or history
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 276 Division II COMP 258 Division I
DPE Notes: This course situates "gnosis" as a practical epistemological orientation used both to disrupt and challenge power arrangements deemed unjust and to empower those who are marginalized within dominant power structures. At the same time, the course interrogates "gnostic" epistemological claims as capable of being used to reinstall hierarchical power structures. Attention to power and equity and how difference is produced is at the center of the course.

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