Gnostic Self-Deification: The Case of Simon of Samaria

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
M. David Litwa College of William & Mary

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This essay argues that gnostic deification can be redescribed as self-deification. Self-deification, it is argued, is realized in three “moments”: (1) the intuition of one’s own divine core, (2) deeply reflexive practices of self-knowledge, and (3) identification with a higher divine self. These three moments are contextualized with the help of ancient philosophy and several gnostic texts. Finally, a case study on Simon of Samaria illustrates how the three moments of self-deification play out.

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