Ancient Gnosticism (RLST2612)


This unit provides an overview of the Ancient Gnostic, Hermetic and Manichaean traditions, with particular emphasis on certain topics and themes. These include: exploration of the divine and demonic worlds; the nature of gnosis or knowledge; magic, the occult sciences and alchemy; dualism and the problem of evil; cosmogony, apocalypse and eschatology. A special feature of this unit is the use of new or recently discovered texts such as the so-called gnostic gospels.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr seminar/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week


1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x2000wd essay (40%), 1x500wd equivalent oral presentation (20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(12 junior credit points from Studies in Religion) or (6 junior credit points from Studies in Religion and (ANHS1600 or ANHS1601 or ANHS1602))



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.