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The Gnostic Gospels - Conclusion Summary & Analysis

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Conclusion Summary

Pagels again points out, in conclusion, that the orthodox victors may have preserved Christianity precisely because of their emphasis on rigid doctrine, rituals and the authority of the Church. Was it the social function of the Church that kept it alive?

After all, the Gnostic path was relatively solitary and very introspective. The Gnostic focus on suffering was primarily emotional or psychological suffering. Even the Valentinians, who led relatively normal lives, eschewing celibacy and abstinence, still regarded gnosis as their primary goal. The orthodox Christian's world was a world of daily services, of special masses, of funerals and baptisms, of marriage and christenings. It was a world of social reality.

The dichotomy between Gnostic and orthodox is echoed in the centuries to come. Blake says of these two opposed viewpoints, "Both read the Bible day and night, But thou read'st black where I see white."...

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This section contains 492 words
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