Thursday, June 22, 2017

Philip Jenkins on Melville's Dualism in "Lost Gnostic Poem"

Philip Jenkins reads a Timoleon poem and locates Melville's poetical Fragments on the Albigensian part of the "Dualist/Gnostic continuum."
More curious is why it is allegedly “of the twelfth century.” All the Patristic sources concerning Gnosticism were focused on the first three or so centuries of the Christian era. Now, there were medieval Dualist movements in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries like the Bogomils and Albigensians, and many writers (including myself) have suggested possible continuities from ancient Gnosticism. I have even spoken of the Dualist/Gnostic continuum. In that sense, you could even imagine an Albigensian poem of the twelfth century, say, being described as Gnostic in a very broad sense.
Along the way, the Baylor historian raises interesting questions pertaining to the study of Melville's sources. Did Melville read Jules Michelet or Madame Blavatsky? Check out the enlightening blog post by Philip Jenkins for The Anxious Bench, on Patheos via the Evangelical Channel:

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