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  • Author or Editor: Zlatko Pleše x
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Narrative and Cosmology in the Apocryphon of John
This volume is both an essay in Gnostic poetics and a study in the history of early Christian appropriation of ancient philosophy. The object of study is the cosmological model of the Apocryphon of John, a first-hand and fully narrated version of the Gnostic myth.
The author examines his target text against a complex background of religious and philosophical systems, literary theories, and rhetorical techniques of the period, and argues that the world model of the Apocryphon of John is inseparable from the epistemological, theological, and aesthetic debates within contemporary Platonism.
Poetics of the Gnostic Universe also discusses the composition and narrative logic of the Apocryphon of John, explores its revisionist attitude towards various literary models (Plato’s Timaeus, Wisdom literature, Genesis), and analyzes its peculiar discursive strategy of conjoining seemingly disconnected symbolic ‘codes’ while describing the derivation of a multi-layered universe from a single transcendent source.

This article argues that similar yet distinct hermeneutical approaches can be observed in the Derveni papyrus, the exegetical work of Aristobulus of Alexandria, and the Qumran Pesharim. These similarities go back to a widespread hermeneutical system that was triggered by cultural and religious estrangement from authoritative texts. Such estrangement developed when the authoritative status of scripturalized cultural memories prevented their adjustment to evolving cultures by way of reworking (textual fixity). The transposition of isolated elements from these scripturalized cultural memories into new contexts allows for a continuous re-reading of textually stable authoritative texts. In this way, authoritative texts could develop ever-changing significations mirroring the developments of cultures and societies.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls In Context (2 vols) 
In: Journal of Ancient Judaism