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Document Details :
Title: The Origin of the Gnostic Concept of the Demiurge
Author(s): FOSSUM, J.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 61 Issue: 1 Date: April 1985
At the great conference on Gnosticism held in Messina, Sicily, in 1966, G. Widengren asserted : "Concerning the Nag Hammadi texts, there was much stir; but, so far, no text containing much new material that has allowed a better understanding of Gnosticism has come to the fore". Widengren understood Gnosticism as an Indo-Iranian religion, and opposed the new sentiment that the Nag Hammadi texts evinced the Jewish groundwork of the Gnostic religion. However, the theory that Gnosticism originated in Jewish quarters has been gaining populari ty concurrently with the publication of the Nag Hammadi texts. But the theory is not without difficulties. G. Quispel, one of the foremost champions of this theory, states : "It seems to me that the real issue is this most Gnostics were against the Jewish God who created the world and gave the Law. Is it possible that this doctrine is of Jewish origin? This problem has not been discussed until now . Even those who do accept that many Gnostic views are to be derived from Judaism, seem to have avoided this theme".