Gnosticism and Early Christian Culture

Contact information

Antti Marjanen
Professor of Gnosticism and Early Christian Literature
PL 33 (Aleksanterinkatu 7)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

antti.marjanen at


Gnosticism and Early Christian Culture

Tehostekuva This website gives information about religious groups of late antiquity that were condemned by the Church Fathers as heretics. Some of them were called "gnostics", and Christian scholars have later labeled the doctrines and myths of these and other similar groups as "Gnosticism". The term derives from the Greek word gnosis, meaning "knowledge".

The website introduces the sensational discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, including many previously unknown documents written by gnostics themselves; the Coptic language, in which these documents were written; the key features of gnostic thought; the social world reflected in the documents; and the later development and influence of gnostic thinking.

The website was created by the research project "Gnosticism and the Formation of Christianity" (1997-2001) at the University of Helsinki. The editor of the site is Professor Risto Uro. The text is translated from Finnish by Geoffrey Moore.