Gnosticism and Kabbalah

M. Schneider

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A short time after the beginning of Humanistic Hebraism and Christian Kabbalah, the first reflections about the Kabbalah and Gnosticism appear. Cornelius Agrippa, with little sympathy for either, claims that “Ophites, Gnosticks, and Valentinians” came from kabbalistic superstitions. As an example of kabbalistic speculation in Gnosticism, he mentions the “Body of Truth,” in which the Anthropos is composed of letters, as envisioned by Marcus, Valentinus’s disciple (Agrippa, De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum declamatio invectiva [1531], pp. 64v-65f). This example remains relevant in modern discussions on the topic. Over time, the concept of the connection between Gnosticism and Kabbalah gained some popularity, especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Stroumsa 1993). Hegel describes Kabbalah and Gnosticism as two connected doctrines stemming from Philo (Hegel 2006: 327–9)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Gnostic World
EditorsGarry W. Trompf, Gunner B. Mikkelsen, Jay Johnston
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, FL
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315561608
ISBN (Print)1315561603
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameGnostica monograph series


Dive into the research topics of 'Gnosticism and Kabbalah'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this