Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Demiurge ... Valentine

In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge (/ˈdɛmiˌɜːrdʒ/) is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term "demiurge". Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal or the product of some other entity.

The word "demiurge" is an English word derived from demiurgus, a Latinized form of the Greek δημιουργός or dēmiourgos. It was originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually came to mean "producer", and eventually "creator". The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, where the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. The demiurge is also described as a creator in the Platonic (c. 310–90 BC) and Middle Platonic (c. 90 BC – AD 300) philosophical traditions. In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others, including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is simply ignorant or misguided.

Valentinianism was one of the major Gnostic Christian movements. Founded by Valentinus in the second century AD, its influence spread extremely widely, not just within Rome, but also from Northwest Africa to Egypt through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east.

Later in the movement's history it broke into an Eastern and a Western school. Disciples of Valentinus continued to be active into the 4th century AD, after the Roman Empire was declared to be Christian.

Valentinus and the Gnostic movement that bore his name were considered threats to Christianity by church leaders and Christian scholars, not only because of their influence, but also because of their doctrine, practices and beliefs. Gnostics were condemned as heretics, and prominent Church fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Hippolytus of Rome wrote against Gnosticism. Most evidence for the Valentinian theory comes from its critics and detractors, most notably Irenaeus, since he was especially concerned with refuting Valentinianism

Valentinus (also spelled Valentinius; c. 100 – c. 160 AD) was the best known and for a time most successful early Christian gnostic theologian. He founded his school in Rome. According to Tertullian, Valentinus was a candidate for bishop of Rome but started his own group when another was chosen.

Valentinus produced a variety of writings, but only fragments survive, largely those embedded in refuted quotations in the works of his opponents, not enough to reconstruct his system except in broad outline. His doctrine is known to us only in the developed and modified form given to it by his disciples. He taught that there were three kinds of people, the spiritual, psychical, and material; and that only those of a spiritual nature received the gnosis (knowledge) that allowed them to return to the divine Pleroma, while those of a psychic nature (ordinary Christians) would attain a lesser or uncertain form of salvation, and that those of a material nature were doomed to perish.

Valentinus had a large following, the Valentinians. It later divided into an Eastern and a Western, or Italian, branch. The Marcosians belonged to the Western branch.

"Valentinus" = 137 (English Ordinal)
"Valentinus" = 38 (Full Reduction)

"Valentinius" = 47 (Full Reduction)
"Valentinius" = 1214 (Jewish)

"Valentinians" = 50 (Full Reduction)
"Valentinians" = 137 (Jewish Ordinal)
"Valentinians" = 444 (Primes)

"Valentinian" = 121 (English Ordinal)
"Valentinian" = 119 (Jewish Ordinal)

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