Gnosis, science, and mysticism: A history of self-referential theory designs

Rossbach, Stefan (1996) Gnosis, science, and mysticism: A history of self-referential theory designs. Social Science Information Sur Les Sciences Sociales, 35 (2). pp. 233-255. ISSN 0539-0184. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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In this paper, we understand we advent of a ''scientific spirit'' as a revival of Gnosticism, which proclaims the superiority of man over his creator and considers knowledge (gnosis) to be the key to salvation. Salvation is here understood as from of ''emancipation''. Empirically, toe see our interpretation confirmed in the tremendous influence of the Corpus Hermeticum and the Lurianic Cabala on all the Renaissance scientists. In the second part of this essay, we continue a line of research inaugurated by Ferdinand Christian Baur in the 19th century, and look for Gnostic outlooks in contemporary philosophy and social science. By reading Niklas Luhmann's systems theory as a modem version of Gnostic mysticism, we do not intend to dismiss the relevance of his work. For if Gnosticism defines ''modernity'', we should not be surprised to find a speculative Gnostic system among society's self-descriptions.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Stefan Rossbach
Date Deposited: 12 May 2009 08:50
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 13:24
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