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Title: De Pistis à Ève
Subtitle: Des figures salvifiques féminines dans le récit de la chute et de l'origine du monde (ÉcrST NH II,5)
Author(s): BRANKAER, Johanna
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 121    Issue: 3-4   Date: 2008   
Pages: 265-283
DOI: 10.2143/MUS.121.3.2034321

Abstract :
In the Gnostic text On the Origin of the World (OnOrigWorld) from Nag-Hammadi Codex II female entities have an unusual important role. They are not only connected with the notion of 'fall' that leads to the creation of the cosmos and human beings as in similar texts, but they appear also as the main actors of the restoration of this fault, a role that is often reserved for male characters. These are however absent in the main narrative parts of OnOrigWorld. Another characteristic of this text is that we find a specialisation within the group of female entities, who seem to be more or less identified in other Gnostic writings. Each of six main female characters is connected to a specific sphere of being. Pistis, Pistis-Sophia and Sophia belong to the superior spheres, whereas Sophia-Zoe, Zoe and Eve are active within the sub-lunar world. The organisation of the female entities reveals the continuity of saving activity from the highest to the lowest levels of reality. Not only do they already realise salvation in the transmission of the pleromatic light to its beneficiaries, but they also prepare the coming of the eschatological Saviour – who remains a virtual character in the narration of the origin of the world.

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