Wrestling with archons

Gnosticism as a Critical Theory of Culture

About

This research is an inquiry into ancient Christian Gnosticism as an ancient form of cultural criticism. It is suggested that, much like modern forms of critical theory, ancient Gnosticism was set on deconstructing ancient Greco-Roman discourses and cultural premises. Issues that served as premises for discussion were transformed to an object of contention by the ancient gnostics. The main aim of this project is to salvage the category of Gnosticism from its present scholarly disavowal, if only because Gnosticism, when read as a cultural, and not only a religious phenomenon, presents us an ancient form of culture criticism which would be hard to parallel until (post) modernity. While Hans Jonas remarked many years ago that “[S]omething in Gnosticism knocks at the door of our Being and of our twentieth-century Being in particular,” by the 21st century global world this something has already entered and lives with us.

Events

"Humanity in Crisis: Reading Hans Jonas's Philosophical Essays in the Age of Climate Change and Post-Truth Politics,"  International Workshop, May 22nd-24th, 2017, at Aarhus University Conference Center at Sandbjerg Estate. For further details see here.


"We and They: Decolonizing Greco-Roman and Biblical Antiquities," International Conference, August 9th-12th, 2016, at Aarhus University Conference Center at Sandbjerg Estate. For further details see here.


"Material Mysticism: New Materialisms, Ancient Mysteries, and the Unfolding of the Possible," A public lecture given by Prof. Karmen MacKendrick on May 20th, 2015. For further details see here.


Prof. Karmen MacKendrick (Le Moyne College) gave a methodological intensive seminar on "Mysteries of Matter: Music and Meaning, Monsters, and Material Mysticism" at Aarhus University, May 18th-22nd, 2015. For further details see here.


"Reading Paul with and against Contemporary Continental Philosophers: Typology, Anthropology, and Bodily Difference," A public lecture given by Prof. Benjamin H. Dunning on May 8th, 2014. For further details see here.


Prof. Benjamin H. Dunning (Fordham University) gave a methodological intensive seminar on "Cultural Theory, Historiography, and the Study of Early Christianity" at Aarhus University, May 5th-9th, 2014. For further details see here.

Director of Research

Part of classical antiquity

The project Wrestling with Archons is part of the Research Programme Classical Antiquity: Tradition and Transformation at the Department of Culture and Society. The project is funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (FKK) and the Danish Council for Independent Research Sapere Aude.