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Identity and religion in Sethian gnosticism: translation and analysis of the Apocryphon of John's texts - short version (Berlin Codex BG 8502.2, BCNH III, 1) and long version (BCNH II, 1 and IV, 1)

Grant number: 14/50278-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Pedro Paulo Abreu Funari
Grantee:Maria Aparecida de Andrade Almeida
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


For the sake of an interdisciplinary perspective this study integrates the disciplines of ancient history, Coptic language, Judaic culture, archeology and the science of religion. To gain a better understanding of the origins of the identity of our Judaic-Christian Western Society the text known as the Apocryphon of John will be translated and analyzed. This text appears in four manuscripts, two shorter versions found in the Berlin Codex BG 8502, 2 and Nag Hammadi Codex BCNH III, 1, and two longer versions, found in Nag Hammadi Codex BCNH II, 1 and IV, 1. The research will put into consideration the gnostic sectarian context and the fact that this sect could have existed prior to Christianity. The purpose is to examine the relation between identity and religion in this community with the objective to gain a better understanding of the society that produced these texts. Assuming that religion was a predominant factor for forming identity in the ancient world, the literary findings of signs of identity in the framework of this society will be studied. Given that these texts are crucial in proving the old age of "Gnosticism" and seeing that they depict a specific type of followers of this doctrine who most likely identified themselves as Christians within a Judean context, the study will also focus on the question of the origins and the identity of this religious phenomenon that survived throughout the first centuries of Christianity. (AU)

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