Gnosticism (Ivana, Maggie, Ryan, Emily)

There is an ongoing scholarly dispute about the nature of Gnosticism, or whether that is an appropriate label. However, there are some established characteristics such as that the material world was created by an inferior, evil God; and that the only way to be saved is to recognize the reality that the material world prevents ones ability to achieve salvation through the the possession of the divine spark (Gnosis). This highlights both the dualistic and polytheistic theological underpinnings of this belief system. The Nag Hammed Library is the most important source of the text, allowing modern scholars to understand this belief system on its own terms.