From Austin Storm
“All the various forms of gnosticism are grounded in the belief that privileged spiritual knowledge is the way of salvation.” - Fleming Rutledge, from The Crucifixion
Later, in more fullness:
Defining this philosophy is no easy task, because gnosticism is, by its very nature, diffuse and mercurial; brief descriptions will of necessity be oversimplified. A few basic concepts, however, can be set forth…
Allowing for all of gnosticism’s varieties, we can safely say this, in summary: in gnosticism’s portrayal of salvation, the power to redeem (God’s power) has been subsumed into our capacity for being redeemed. Therefore the crucifixion becomes unnecessary.
- an emphasis on spiritual knowledge (gnosis)
- a hierarchy of spiritual accomplishment
- a devaluation of material/physical life and a corresponding avoidance of ethical struggle in this material world…