Author: David Brakke

Why did Sethian gnostic authors write pseudonymously? In addition to making a claim to authority, gnostic pseudepigraphy, exemplified by The Three Tablets of Seth, was multiple and performative, implying that the self is multiple—a manifestation of selfhood at different levels of a single reality—and that performing one’s self as multiple provides a path to higher knowledge of one’s self and thus of God. That is, gnostic pseudonymity stems from a distinctive understanding of the self and functions as a mystical practice that performs that understanding. The eschewal of pseudonymity in Valentinian literature reflects different conceptions of the self and of the path to gnosis.

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
In: Numen
In: From Temple to Church
In: Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt
In: Mystery and Secrecy in the Nag Hammadi Collection and Other Ancient Literature: Ideas and Practices