The classification of gnosticism is highly debated amongst scholars leading to several misinterpretations about gnostic practices. Investigating Valentinian attitudes toward the 'spiritual,' 'psychic,' and 'material' bodies through a Valentinian dynamic of holiness highlights Valentinian conditions of being in the world: holy, common, unholy, pure and impure. Applying body theory and Mary Douglas's theory of ritual purity takes the Valentinian dynamic of holiness further into the reconstruction of purification and salvific rituals and reveals the role purity and impurity play in Valentinianism. Thus, providing scholars with new insight in regards to the conflation of sacramental practices in ancient Christianity as a whole and its effect on Valentinian bodies. This investigation overturns the popular notion that Valentinians were like other gnostic sects believed to be hostile towards their bodies. This, in turn, suggests scholars should refine their classification of gnosticism.
|Advisor:||Stewart, David Tabb|
|Commitee:||Hawkins, Bradley, Jones, F. Stanley|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Ancient Christianity, Gnosticism, Holiness, Purity and impurity, Valentinians|
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