Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

4.5 The Heresies – Gnosticism: Christ as Cosmic Mind

By Dr. James Papandrea ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 24, 2024 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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The heresy of docetism evolved into a complicated web of schools of mythology, which we lump together under the name of gnosticism. These all still denied the real humanity of Christ, though in two distinct ways. Docetic gnosticism continued the trend of seeing Christ as a phantom, with no real tangible body. “Hybrid” gnosticism made concessions to the accounts of a tangible body of Jesus, but called it an ethereal, or luminous, body —in other words, not a true material flesh and blood body.


For more information on Clement of Alexandria, listen to Mike Aquilina’s Episode 16:

To read Clement of Alexandria’s Exhortation to the Heathen:

For more information on Irenaeus of Lyons, listen to Mike Aquilina’s Episode 10:

To read Irenaeus of Lyons’ Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching:

For more information on Hippolytus, listen to Mike Aquilina’s Episode 17:

To read Hippolytus’ Refutation of All Heresies:


For more information on the gnostic gospels, listen to Mike Aquilina’s episode “Apocrypha Now!…”:

To read some of the gnostic writings, see the Primary Sources tab on Dr. Papandrea’s home page (scroll down to Infancy Gospel of Thomas and following):

For more detail on the heresy of gnosticism, see the books: Reading the Church Fathers: A History of the Early Church and the Development of Doctrine:

and The Earliest Christologies: Five Images of Christ in the Post-Apostolic Age:

For more on gnosticism (and the other heresies) and Science Fiction, see the book: From Star Wars to Superman: Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films:

For more on the doctrine of the Resurrection Body and its relationship to anthropology, see the book: What Really Happens After We Die?: There WILL Be Hugs in Heaven:

To connect with Dr. James Papandrea, On YouTube —The Original Church:
Join the Original Church Community on Locals:

Dr. Papandrea’s Homepage:

Theme Music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed:

Dr. James Papandrea is a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and a Catholic member of the faculty at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. A theological consultant for EWTN’s series The Heresies, he is also the writer and presenter for The Original Church series on YouTube. See full bio.

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