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April D. DeConick

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April D. Deconick

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April D. DeConick

Because the gnostic heresy is a social construction imposed by the early Catholics on religious people they identified as transgressors of Christianity, scholars are entertaining the idea that ancient gnostics were actually alternative Christians. While gnostics may have been made into heretics by the early Catholics, this does not erase the fact that gnostics were operating in the margins of the conventional religions with a countercultural perspective that upset and overturned everything from traditional theology, cosmogony, cosmology, anthropology, hermeneutics, scripture, religious practices, and lifestyle choices. Making the gnostic into a Christian only imposes another grand narrative on the early Christians, one which domesticates gnostic movements. Granted, the textual evidence for the interface of the gnostic and the Christian is present, but so is the interface of the gnostic and the Greek, the gnostic and the Jew, the gnostic and the Persian, and the gnostic and the Egyptian. And the interface looks to have all the signs of transgression, not conformity. Understanding the gnostic as a spiritual orientation toward a transcendent God beyond the biblical God helps us handle this kind of diversity and transgression. As such, it survives in the artifacts that gnostics and their opponents have left behind, artifacts that help orient religious seekers to make sense of their own moments of ecstasy and revelation.

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The Codex Judas Papers

Proceedings of the International Congress on the Tchacos Codex Held at Rice University, Houston Texas, March 13-16, 2008

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Edited by April D. DeConick

This book contains the proceedings from the Codex Judas Congress, the first international conference held to discuss the newly-restored Tchacos Codex. Given that the Tchacos Codex is a newly-conserved ancient book of Christian manuscripts which had yet to be discussed collaboratively by a body of scholars, the research conducted and published within this book by the members of the Codex Judas Congress is nothing less than a landmark in Gnostic studies. Scholars address issues of identity and community, portraits of Judas, astrological lore, salvation and praxis, text and intertext, and manuscript matters. Although the contributions show a variety of interpretations of the Tchacos texts, several points of agreement emerge, including the assessment that the Codex belonged to early Christians in conflict with other Christians who belonged to the apostolic or conventional church.

Contributors include: Grant Adamson, Johanna Brankaer, Fernando Bermejo Rubio, Serge Cazelais, April D. DeConick, Ismo Dunderberg, Niclas Förster, Wolf-Peter Funk, Simon Gathercole, Matteo Grosso, Lance Jenott, Karen King, Nicola Denzey Lewis, Alastair Logan, Antti Marjanen, Marvin Meyer, Elaine Pagels, Birger A. Pearson, Pierluigi Piovanelli, James M. Robinson, Gesine Schenke Robinson, Kevin Sullivan, Franklin Trammel, Johannes van Oort, Bas van Os, Louis Painchaud, Tage Petersen, John D. Turner, and Gregor Wurst.