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Halbared wrote:

> In a discussion on another board, I have chatted aboot the
> recent C4 programme aboot Dan Brown's novel, the Da Vinci Code.
> It was put to me that Gnostics might be anti-women like the
> Catholic Church, has anyone read anything aboot this?

First of all, there is no single movement called 'gnostics'. There were many factions with widely divergent views that were broadly labelled 'gnostics' by the orthodox authorities who suppressed them. Some of them were against the bearing of children on principle, due to their complete opposition to material life. It's not hard to see how these groups could become anti-woman since children come from women. But other groups that are also classed as 'gnostics' were much more moderate, simply interpreting the scripture allegorically much as modern 'mystical' and 'occultist' schools do. These movements don't seem to have been any more anti-woman than the general culture. See below.

Second, you won't find many cultures of any sort in the Mideast/Mediterranean area -- religious or otherwise -- that could not be described as 'anti-woman'. In the ancient Mideast and Mediterranean, as in most of Asia down to the present day, a woman is a second class person. Ancient Greeks regarded women as property. There were wives (and daughters of 'good' families were potential wives), who were a specific man's exclusive property, and all other women, who were sometimes one man's property or sometimes public property (in various sorts of brothels). Women were not allowed to enter the inner courts of the Jewish Temple, and were legally the responsibility (i.e. property) of their husbands or fathers in traditional Jewish law. Women were also nothing but property in ancient Arabian culture. Much of the Sha'ria that you hear so much about in news stories from the Mideast lately is not in fact 'Islamic' (based on the Koran) but is in fact based on ancient tradition from before Mohammed. Mohammed's rules given in the Koran are actually much less strict than Sha'ria but are somehow not visible to the people claiming to enforce 'Islamic' law on women. Mohammed actually asserts that women have some rights that Sha'ria does not give them. Similarly, the passage that Bent cites is actually evidence of resistence to this characteristic attitude in the regional cultures within the gnostic movement. In contradicting Peter, Jesus is saying that women can attain 'enlightenment' and have just as much right to wish to do so as men.

As Bauval points out, Egypt is just about the solitary exception in the region. Women seem to have been completely equal in Ancient Egyptian society. There aren't many other societies like this anywhere else in the world, either. Traditional India and China also regard women as inferor to men and therefore as property of men. The 'barbarian' Celts to the north seem to have been much more open-minded than the 'civilized' Mediterranean cultures in this regard. Though they had defined sex-roles similar to other cultures, they did have women in positions of power occasionally.

So the final thought is: Assuming that the accusatiom is more-or-less correct, in what way would the Gnostics being 'anti-woman' make them different from anyone else?

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Gnostics...anti-woman? 125 Halbared 05-Feb-05 14:50
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 113 Bent 05-Feb-05 16:35
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 97 debraregypt 06-Feb-05 16:07
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 124 Joyeuse 06-Feb-05 18:44
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 116 OakeyDokey 09-Feb-05 20:08
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 92 Joyeuse 09-Feb-05 20:43
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 126 mel 05-Feb-05 16:55
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 90 Joyeuse 05-Feb-05 17:39
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 105 Nebankh 05-Feb-05 18:07
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 148 Robert Bauval 05-Feb-05 18:24
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 76 Joyeuse 05-Feb-05 19:29
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 110 David L 06-Feb-05 04:09
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 130 Nolondil 06-Feb-05 00:19
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 86 Joyeuse 06-Feb-05 02:06
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 71 whytebyrd 08-Feb-05 04:52
Re: Gnostics...anti-woman? 93 Joyeuse 08-Feb-05 17:41

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