Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Valentinian dynamic of holiness: Re-imagining Valentinian perceptions of the 'spiritual', 'psychic', and 'material' bodies
by Villaneda, Eunice, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 178; 1528065
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stewart, David Tabb
Commitee: Hawkins, Bradley, Jones, F. Stanley
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Religious Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious history
Keywords: Ancient Christianity, Gnosticism, Holiness, Purity and impurity, Valentinians
Publication Number: 1528065
ISBN: 9781303985898
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