Home
Einar Thomassen's picture

Einar Thomassen

Professor Emeritus, Study of Religion
  • E-mailEinar.Thomassen@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 24 50+47 416 03 069
  • Visitor Address
    AHKR, Øysteins gate 3
    Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen
  • Formative Christianity
  • Gnosticism
  • Religions of Antiquity
  • Formative Islam
  • Comparative History of Religions

My main area of research over the years has been Valentinianism, the most important variety of Christian ‘Gnosticism’ in Antiquity. I regard it as a distinct branch of Christianity, founded by Valentinus c. 150 CE and still alive at the end of the fourth century. The Valentinians were condemned as heretics by the theologians of mainstream Christianity.

I have worked extensively on the Coptic manuscripts from Nag Hammadi, which among other things contain several important Valentinian texts, and I am co-editor of the book series Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies.

Greco-Roman religion and the history of early Christianity are general research interests that cohere naturally with my specialised research.

Another research interest is Islam, where I have previously worked, among other things, on Sufism. I currently take a special interest in the origins of the Qur’an and its Late Antique context.

Finally I have always taken an interest in comparative issues in the study of religion, both thematic and historical. In this area I am now looking at macro-historical processes in the light of cognitive psychology and the general theory of evolution.

 

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2021). Gnostic Prophecy: The Case of Marcus the Magician and his Women. Post Augustum. 34-44.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Were There Valentinian Schools? Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements. 32-44.
  • Show author(s) (2020). The Relative Chronology of the Valentinian Systems. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies. 15-28.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Da religionsvitenskapen kom til Bergen. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. 17-36.
  • Show author(s) (2018). To profeter. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur. 57-74.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Theological and Philosophical Treatises in the Nag Hammadi Codices. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum (STAC). 267-280.
  • Show author(s) (2017). The Eucharist in Valentinianism. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament (WUNT). 1833-1850.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Gnostic Paradises. Warburg Institute Colloquia. 95-107.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Guder og andre overmenneskelige aktører. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur. 105-111.
  • Show author(s) (2013). A New Edition of the Wizz Codex with an English Translation. Collectanea Christiana Orientalia. 193-209.
  • Show author(s) (2011). Jakten på gnostiske egg. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur. 109-119.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Le valentinisme à Nag Hammadi. Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. 1759-1770.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Islamic Hell. Numen. 401-416.
  • Show author(s) (2004). The Epiphany of Gnosis. Illinois Classical Studies. 217-226.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Orthodoxy and Heresy in Second Century Rome. Harvard Theological Review. 241-256.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Anmeldelse av P. Mirecki og M. Meyer (utg.), Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World. The Classical Review. 443-445.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Anmeldelse av Ennio Sanzi, I culti orientali nell'impero romano: Un'antologia di fonti. Numen. 359-360.
  • Show author(s) (1998). Teologi og religionshistorie�mot en ny tverrfaglig identitet? Norsk Teologisk Tidsskrift. 30-36.
  • Show author(s) (1998). Religionsvitenskap i skolen? Religion og livssyn : Tidsskrift for religionslærerforeningen i Norge. 18-22.
  • Show author(s) (1997). Satansversene: Fiksjon og fakta. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. 41-52.
  • Show author(s) (1995). Spiseritualer blant de første kristne. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. 65-74.
  • Show author(s) (1995). L´historie du valentinisme et le Trait#/e tripartite. Annuaire - Ecole pratique des hautes études, Section des sciences religieuses. 301-303.
  • Show author(s) (1994). J. Zandee: The Teachings of Sylvanus. Bibliotheca Orientalis.
  • Show author(s) (1994). Gnostic Semiotics: The Valentinian Notion of the Name. Temenos. 141-156.
  • Show author(s) (1994). Exodus 1-15, exempelvis. Tro & tanke. 91-104.
  • Show author(s) (1993). Gnostic Semiotics: The Valentinian Notion of the Name. Temenos. 141-156.
  • Show author(s) (1992). Målestokken og spanskrøret: Kanon som religionsvitenskapelig term. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. 5-17.
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) (2018). Was there a special Gnostic book culture?
  • Show author(s) (2017). Response to Geoff Smith, “Anti-Origenist Redaction in the Fragments of the Gospel of Truth (NHC XII,2).”.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Religion among the Societal Challenges: Opportunities for Research on Religion in the Third Pillar of Horizon 2020.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Protology and Eschatology in Gnostic Thought.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Orphism as a Religion.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Historien om opprettelsen av religionsvitenskap ved UiB.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Eusebius on Apollonius: Recasting the boundaries of religion, magic and philosophy (Reply to Hierocles).
  • Show author(s) (2017). Canonization and Codification.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Asceticism at the Threshold between Christianity and Formative Islam.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Were there Valentinian Schools?
  • Show author(s) (2015). There is no such thing as Gnosticism. But what have we got instead?
  • Show author(s) (2015). Theological and Philosophical Treatises in the Nag Hammadi Codices.
  • Show author(s) (2015). The Emergence of Islam.
  • Show author(s) (2015). The Axial Age and the Question of Islam.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Were Gnostics Over-achievers?
  • Show author(s) (2013). The World of Symbols in Valentinian Gnosticism.
  • Show author(s) (2013). The Rhetorical Construction of Heresy in the Church Fathers.
  • Show author(s) (2013). The Relative Chronology of the Valentinian Systems.
  • Show author(s) (2013). "Saved by Nature": Searching for the Right Questions.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Valentinian ideas about salvation as transformation.
  • Show author(s) (2007). La semence spirituelle.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Islamic Hell.
  • Show author(s) (2007). From life cycle rituals to rituals of initiation.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Valentiniansk kristologi og soteriologi - et misforstått kapitel i kirkehistorien.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Valentinianism: A misunderstood chapter in the history of early Christianity.
  • Show author(s) (2006). The Spiritual Seed: Response.
  • Show author(s) (2006). The Invention of Heresy.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Religionsfrihetens grenser i antikken.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Is Judas really the hero of the Gospel of Judas?
  • Show author(s) (2006). 1 Mos 1:26-27: den religionshistoriske bakgrunnen.
  • Show author(s) (2005). The Reception of Graeco-Roman Religious and Cultic Terminology in Judaism and Christianity with a Special Reference to Sacrificial Terminology.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Tekstkritikk og kanon.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Imagistic and doctrinal dimensions of Christian Gnostic ritual.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Gnostic Hell.
  • Show author(s) (2005). Functions of scripture in ancient Christianity.
  • Show author(s) (2003). Marcus the Gnostic and female prophetesses.
  • Show author(s) (2003). Globalisation in Antiquity: Response.
  • Show author(s) (2003). From Wisdom to Gnosis.
  • Show author(s) (2003). An Unknown Sayings Gospel.
  • Show author(s) (2002). “The Womb of Rebirth”.
  • Show author(s) (2002). Valentinianismen.
  • Show author(s) (2002). "Who were the Valentinians?".
  • Show author(s) (2002). "Thomasevangeliet og andre apokryfe evangelier".
  • Show author(s) (2002). "The Presence of the Gnostic Revealer".
  • Show author(s) (2002). "Revelation as Book and Book as Revelation: Reflections on the Gospel of Truth.”.
  • Show author(s) (2002). "Presentasjon av høringsutkastet til ny KRL-plan".
  • Show author(s) (2001). The epiphany of gnosis.
  • Show author(s) (2001). Muhammad i skolen.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Orthodoxy and Heresy in Second Century Rome.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Orthodoxy and Heresy in Second Century Rome.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Orthodoxie et hérésie à Rome au deuxième siècle.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Evaluation of diagnostic tests for antinuclear antibodies in rheumatological practice.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Early Christian Initiation: The Valentinian Version.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Early Christian Initiation and the Theory of Transformation Rituals.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Ancient Christian Baptism as an Initiation Rite.
  • Show author(s) (1999). Is Magic a Subclass of Ritual?
  • Show author(s) (1997). Is Philology Relevant?
Editorial
  • Show author(s) (2009). The uses of hell. Numen. 139-140.
Book review
  • Show author(s) (2020). Anmeldelse av Bjørn Are Davidsen, Lurt av læreboken? Feil og forvirring om kristen tro i læremidlene. Prismet. 310-315.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Review of Exposé du mythe valentinien et textes liturgiques (NH XI,2). By Wolf-Peter Funk and Jean-Pierre Mahé. Québec/Louvain 2016. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 333-336.
  • Show author(s) (2018). The Qur’an: A New Annotated Translation. By Arthur J. Droge. Marburg Journal of Religion. 2 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Anmeldelse av Kristin Brandtsegg Johansen, Maria Magdalena: Disippelen Jesus elsket. Salongen : Nettstedet for filosofi og idéhistorie.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Anmeldelse av Bart D. Ehrman, Forgery and Counterforgery. Journal of Theological Studies. 241-243.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Anmeldelse av Jan N. Bremmer, The Rise of Christianity through the Eyes of Gibbon, Harnack and Rodney Stark. Numen. 149-151.
  • Show author(s) (2011). Anmeldelse av Uwe-Karsten Plisch, Das Thomasevangelium. Originaltext mit Kommentar (Stuttgart 2007). Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum. 360-361.
  • Show author(s) (2011). Anmeldelse av M. Ziegler, Successio. Die Vorsteher der stadrömischen Christengemeinde in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten. Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft. 188-190.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Anmeldelse av Ismo Dunderberg, Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus. Journal of Religion in Europe. 191-193.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Anmeldelse av Barbara Aland, Was ist Gnosis? Theologische Literaturzeitung. 1330-1332.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Anmeldelse av Anders-Christian Jacobsen (ed.), The Discursive Fight over Religious Texts in Antiquity. Religionsvidenskapeligt Tidsskrift. 90-94.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Anmeldelse Arne Bugge Amundsen (red.), Norges religionshistorie, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo, 2005. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur. 60-78.
  • Show author(s) (2002). Moskeer i Norge. DIN - Tidsskrift for religion og kultur. 105.
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
  • Show author(s) (2020). Valentinianism: New Studies. Brill Academic Publishers.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Canon and Canonicity: The Formation and Use of Scripture. Museum Tusculanums Forlag.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Mellem venner og fjender : en folkebog om Judasevangeliet, tidlig kristendom og gnosis. Forlaget ANIS.
Academic commentary
  • Show author(s) (2010). L’Interprétation de la gnose (NH XI,1).
Compendium
  • Show author(s) (1998). Studiehefte: Studierettleiing for fjernundervisningsstudentar i Religionsvitskap delfag. Modul 1.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) (2020). Da julen ble til. Avisa Vårt land. 20-21.
  • Show author(s) (2017). 50 år med religionsvitenskap i Bergen. Bergens Tidende. 46-46.
  • Show author(s) (2008). The Gospel of Judas, or, Is Philology a Science? Interdisciplinary Communications. 110-113.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Dualisme på godt og ondt. Morgenbladet. 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2003). Om å tolke Koranen. Religion og livssyn : Tidsskrift for religionslærerforeningen i Norge. 42-47.
Feature article
  • Show author(s) (2007). Tidsskriftartikkelfetisjismen. Forskerforum. 32-33.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Om skaut og 'islam'. Bergens Tidende. 1 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2001). Fellesfag i forandring. VG : Verdens gang. 39-39.
  • Show author(s) (1998). Anmeldelse av G. Wurst, Die Bema-Psalmen. Orientalia Suecana. 154-155.
  • Show author(s) (1997). Det misforståtte faget. Bergens Tidende.
  • Show author(s) (1996). Fire innlegg om religionsvitenskapens fremtid: Innledning. Chaos - Skandinavisk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. 129-130.
  • Show author(s) (1996). Anmeldelse av S. Richter, Exegetisch-literarkritische Untersuchungen von Herakleidespsalmen des koptisch-manichäischen Psalmenbuches. Acta Orientalia. 163-165.
  • Show author(s) (1996). Anmeldelse av A. Khosroyev, Die Bibliothek von Nag Hammadi: Einige Probleme des Christentums in Ägypten während der ersten Jahrhunderte. Bibliotheca Orientalis. 810-812.
  • Show author(s) (1996). "Det nye religiøse Norge.". Bergens Tidende.
  • Show author(s) (1993). Omtale av J. Zandee, The Teachings of Sylvanus. Bibliotheca Orientalis. 414-416.
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • Show author(s) (2021). Was there a distinct Gnostic Book Culture? 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Valentinus and the Valentinians. 8 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2019). There Is No Such Thing as Gnosticism: But What Have We Got Instead? 13 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Überblick. 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Valentinus und der Valentinianismus. 7 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). The rhetorical construction of heresy in the Church Fathers. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Temple and Sacerdotal Imagery in Valentinian Gnosticism. 20 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Sethianismus. 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Saving Letter, Saving Book: The Hymn of the Pearl, the 23rd Ode of Solomon and the Gospel of Truth. 16 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Mani und der Manichäismus. 6 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Basileides und seine Anhänger. 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Bardesanes (Bardaisan) von Edessa. 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2018). A ‘Sayings Gospel’ attested at Nag Hammadi. 7 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2017). The Melothesia of the Apocryphon of John and the Umm al-kitāb. 12 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Gnosis and Philosophy in Competition. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2016). What Is a “God” Actually?: Some Comparative Reflections. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Filologiens videnskabelighet. 23 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2013). The Valentinian Materials in James (NHC V,3 and CT,2). 12 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Sethian Names in Magical Texts: Protophanes and Meirotheos. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Saved by nature? The question of human races and soteriological determinism in Valentinianism. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Ikke bare Bibelen: Hellige skrifter i antikken. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2013). Going to Church With the Valentinians. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2012). What is Heresy, and Why Did it Matter? 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2012). Egypt som paradiset. 8 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2011). Philology. 9 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2011). Baptism among the Valentinians. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2011). An Unknown ‘Apocryphal’ Text from the White Monastery. 23 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Some Notes on the Development of Christian Ideas about a Canon. 20 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Orphics and Gnostics. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Le valentinisme à Nag Hammadi. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Heracleon. 38 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Valentinian ideas about salvation as transformation. 18 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Jesus in the New Testament Apocrypha. 18 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2009). Dialogues with the Archons: The Post-mortem Encounters of the Ascending Soul in Gnostic Texts. 19 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Kjetteribegrepets opprinnelse og de første kjetterne. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Kjetteri i middelalderen: katarene. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Kilder og arbejdsredskaper til studiet af gnosticismen. 16 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Judasevangeliet og gnosticismen. 24 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2008). Is Judas really the Hero of the Gospel of Judas? 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). “Forgery” in the New Testament. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Traité tripartite (NH I, 5). 96 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). The Valentinian School of Gnostic Thought. 5 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). The Tripartite Tractate. 45 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). The Treatise on Resurrection. 3 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). The Interpretation of Knowledge. 12 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). The Gospel of Truth. 5 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Tekstkritikk og kanon. 16 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). L’Évangile de la vérité (NH I, 3; XII, 2). 42 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Interprétation de la gnose (NH XI, 1). 31 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). IV. Les écrits valentiniens de Nag Hammadi. 1 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). From Wisdom to Gnosis. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Forord. 3 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2007). Den gnostiske reisen. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2006). The Reception of Greco-Roman Religious and Cultic Terminology in Judaism and Christianity, with Special Reference to Sacrificial Terminology. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Religious Education in a Pluralistic Society: Experiences from Norway. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Hva enhver student i religionsvitenskap trnger å vite om filologi. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2006). Gos. Philip 67:27–30: not “in a mystery”. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Sacrifice: Ritual murder or dinner party? 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2004). Musings on 'Syncretism'. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2003). Das norwegische Experiment mit Religionsunterricht für alle. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2003). Becoming a different person: Baptism as an initiation ritual. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2002). "Jesu hemmelige ord: Thomasevangeliet og andre apokryfe evangelier". 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2001). Et gnostisk syn på oppstandelsen. 6 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2000). Wilhelm Schencke—Norway’s First Professor in History of Religions. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2000). The Derivation of Matter in Monistic Gnosticism. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1999). Islam. 107 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1999). Humanismen. 66 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1999). "Is Philology Relevant?". 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1999). "Is Magic a Subclass of Ritual?".
  • Show author(s) (1998). Moskérommet. 5 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1997). How Valentinian is The Gospel of Philip? 29 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1996). "Welcoming a New Department". 4 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1995). Ortodoksi og heterodoksi i det andre århundrets Roma. 19 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1995). Notes pour la d#/elimitation d'un corpus valentinien #`a Nag Hammadi. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1995). Logos apo siges proelthon (Ignatius, Mag. 8:2). 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1993). The Platonic and the Gnostic "Demiurge". 19 pages.
  • Show author(s) (1993). Letters to Makkib, Abd al-Aziz. 31 pages.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) (2015). (Review of) J. Rüpke (ed.),The Individual in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean. The Classical Review. 206-208.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Are gods really moral monitors? Some comments on Ara Norenzayan’s Big Gods by a historian of religions. Religion. 667-673.
  • Show author(s) (2010). Anmeldelse av Johanna Brankaer/Hans-Gebhadt Bethge, Codex Tchacos: Texte und Analysen. ISBN 978-3-11-019570-5. Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum. 536-541.
Introduction
  • Show author(s) (2020). Introduction. 1-14.
Article in business/trade/industry journal
  • Show author(s) (2017). Selektiv historieskrivning. Avisa Vårt land. 14-15.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

  • The coherence of ‘Gnosticism’
  • Comparative themes of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (textbook)
  • The Study of Religion (short introduction)
  • Topics of formative Islam
  • The two versions of the Gospel of Truth