Sunday, 10 February 2019

Ionut Daniel Bancila: Ancient Esotericism in Patristic Era and the Making of Patristic Epistemology

The Study of “Ancient Esotericism”, as a recent focus of interest in the field of Religious Studies, sets as its goal to investigate the complex polemical discourses on knowledge in the Ancient world, with an eye to their potential of providing comparative material for similar kinds of discursive processes in the Modern world (K. von Stuckrad). Apart from some minor contributions, all of them critically reviewed in the present paper, there have been no discussion of the relevance of Patristic literature for the “Ancient Esotericism”. I set a threefold aim to my paper: (1) to test the concept of “Ancient Esotericism” against selected Patristic authors confronting “Gnosticism” (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Irenaeus of Lyons) and (2) to provide evidence for the discursive strategies defining the Patristic epistemology in the context of these kinds of polemic encounters.

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