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Ebook Lo gnosticismo by Hans Jonas read! Book Title: Lo gnosticismo
The author of the book: Hans Jonas
ISBN: 8805059277
ISBN 13: 9788805059270
Language: English
Edition: SEI
Date of issue: May 11th 2002
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.57 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.8

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Although enough information has come to light to cast Martin Heidegger's qualities as a human being in doubt, there is little question but that many of his students—schooled by his powerful mind to explore the subtle immensities of phenomenology, ontology, and metaphysics in the early-to-mid twentieth century—went on to become influential and powerful thinkers themselves. One such éminence was Hans Jonas, who parlayed a fascination with gnosticism—proposing it a distant ancestor to modern existentialism—into the first comprehensive work in English to explore the various avenues of thought, metaphysics, mythology, and theology that went into its dualistic and heretic system that opposed a divinity-bearing man striving for knowledge (gnosis) against a hostile, sometimes evil, universe.

In this powerful, illuminating work, Jonas traces the directions of classical western thought in the centuries prior to the birth of Christ, a period in which Greek-centred Hellenism spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern world, working its way into the cultural and belief systems that had preceded it as Greek itself became the language of choice for serious discourse. The intermingling of Greek rationality and philosophy with the rich mythological tapestries of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia—combined with the massive upheavals and destruction that accompanied the setting up of two colossal, antagonistic empires, Roman and Parthian, as masters of the settled world—produced a ferment of new religious and philosophical notions, an intricately creative cauldron in which roiled many of the ideas that provided the base material with which the road towards the modern world has been paved.

Dividing the multiple streams of Gnostic thought into two principal channels—the Iranian and the Syrian-Egyptian, the former with strong Zoroastrian influences in the division of Good/Light and Evil/Darkness into two eternal, unassimilable realms; the latter with a cosmogony in which Evil/Darkness is created from within the essence of Good/Light itself and can thus be redeemed—Jonas examines the then-existing Gnostic texts and provides an exegesis, comparing them to other Gnostic strains and the orthodox Christian soteriologies that were in direct competition for the minds of the public. Jonas aimed for an even mix of the Iranian and Syrian-Egyptian types in the six principal systems he examines, even including a pagan gnostic belief in the Poimandres of Hermes Trismegistus. The most detailed exegesis is performed upon the highest-deemed representatives of the two strands: the Valentinian Speculation for the S-E and Manicheanism for the Iranian. The final chapters compare Gnostic virtues—in libertinism and a more prevalent asceticism— against those of classical Greece and Christianity, explore the minimal amounts of the Nag Hammadi discovery then available (a complete tome of Gnostic writings in Coptic which was only partially translated at the time of the printing of Jonas' revised second edition), and conclude with an epilogue comparing Gnosticism with Existentialism—focussing on Heidegger's early work in Being and Time—that is worth the price of the book alone. Then, as now, the terror and dread that bears down upon the naked soul when belief in the unity of man with nature—a unity that is grounded in the infinite—is shattered by the ever-anew anxieties of the unsettled and unsettling present, a now in which neither guilt nor hope can dampen the flames of an existence that appears alone and isolated, will cause the afflicted to seek answers inward, away from the cold and unfathomable world. In the gnostic dawn, postulating a divinity beyond all comprehension seemed a rational response to the apparent irrationality of a suddenly menacing and hardscrabble environment.

Although every Gnostic system was unique to itself—indeed, within each different strand believers were encouraged to elaborate, expand upon, and revise the existing bases of thought—they all shared certain core tenets: the material universe was a flawed and hostile environment ruled and created by the Demiurge and his Archons who, either through malice or ignorance, had fashioned the cosmos solely to keep man imprisoned and separated from the Alien God; that the latter, the infinite source of Light and Goodness, was unknowable to man whilst so imprisoned and existed beyond the Demiurge's illusionary universe; that man bore within himself the pneuma—a spark of the divine spirit—and that, through gnosis, or knowledge, he could cast off his physical body and soul—artifices of the Archons—and ascend through the universe to return to the source of Divine Light that was the true God; and that ignorance of this Divine Essence was the principal means by which the material world kept mankind in bitter and perpetual thralldom. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the manner in which Jesus Christ is re-invented as an incarnation of the Unknown Divinity's essence, sent to impart to man the gnosis that will reveal the ignorant materiality of the natural world; thus Christ's tribulations were to impede the success of his mission to educate man, whereas in Christian soteriology Christ's tribulations were the very means with which he would redeem the sins of a fallen mankind. In Gnosticism, original sin is non-existent, the God of Eden being the deceiving and jealous Demiurge, the serpent but one of the manifestations of this Jesus incarnate who braves the dangers of the Archons and their darkness in an effort to make man aware of the Alien God; an entity unknown and unknowable despite the fact his divinity, existent in the pneuma of every man and woman, is the path to salvation by way of a post-cosmic reunion of the pneuma with the infinite Divine Light.

As the Demiurge has often been identified with the Old Testament God, the Gnostics were from the start in opposition to Judaism and Christianity; and yet its dualistic structure, rich mythology, and inspired metaphysics and soteriology has had a vast influence upon religious, philosophical, and political thought, and has continued to exert a fascination upon people, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, through to today. Although criticized as being dated due to the subsequent information made available through the completed translations of the Nag Hammadi discoveries, The Gnostic Religion is brilliantly written and clearly explained, and the linkage made between this ancient dualism and modern nihilism provides a unique lens for interpretation. This wonderful book is a keeper, a tome I will be dipping into and refreshing myself with over time—for without embracing their eschatology, I can't but agree with the central Gnostic premise: knowledge is indeed the spark that kindles the flames of a very human passion; the boundless curiosity to explore the world and try to make sense out of all that the senses reveal.

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Ebook Lo gnosticismo read Online! Hans Jonas was a German-born philosopher who was, from 1955 to 1976, Alvin Johnson Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Jonas' writings were very influential in different spheres. For example, The Gnostic Religion, first published in 1958, was for many years the standard work in English on the subject of Gnosticism.
The Imperative of Responsibility (German 1979, English 1984) centers on social and ethical problems created by technology. Jonas insists that human survival depends on our efforts to care for our planet and its future. He formulated a new and distinctive supreme principle of morality: "Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life".
While The Imperative of Responsibility has been credited with catalyzing the environmental movement in Germany, his work The Phenomenon of Life (1966) forms the philosophical undergirding of one major school of bioethics in America. Murray Bookchin and Leon Kass both referred to Hans Jonas's work as major, or primary, inspiration. Heavily influenced by Heidegger, The Phenomenon of Life attempts to synthesize the philosophy of matter with the philosophy of mind, producing a rich existential understanding of biology, which ultimately argues for a simultaneously material and moral human nature.
His writing on Gnosticism interprets the religion from an existentialist philosophical viewpoint. Jonas was the first author to write a detailed history of ancient Gnosticism. He was also one of the first philosophers to concern himself with ethical questions in biological science.
Jonas's career is generally divided into three periods defined by the three works just mentioned, but in reverse order: studies of gnosticism, studies of philosophical biology, and ethical studies.

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