Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism

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Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Wouter J. Hanegraaff, in collaboration with Antoine Faivre, Roelof van den Broek and Jean-Pierre Brach

Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism Online is the comprehensive reference work to cover the entire domain of “Gnosis and Western Esotericism” from the period of Late Antiquity to the present. Containing around 400 articles by over 180 international specialists, Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism Online provides critical overviews discussing the nature and historical development of all its important currents and manifestations, from Gnosticism and Hermetism to Astrology, Alchemy and Magic, from the Hermetic Tradition of the Renaissance to Rosicrucianism and Christian Theosophy, and from Freemasonry and Illuminism to 19thcentury Occultism and the contemporary New Age movement. Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism Online also contains articles about the life and work of all the major personalities in the history of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, discussing their ideas, significance, and historical influence.

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Nicolaitans

(1,696 words)

Author(s): Pearson, Birger A.
A group of deviant Christians denounced in the Book of Revelation in the “letters” to seven churches of Asia Minor written by John the Seer in the name of Jesus Christ (Rev. 2-3). The church at Ephesus is praised for hating the ‘works of the Nicolaitans’ (2:6). The church at Pergamum is reproved for tolerating the Nicolaitans in its midst, who promote eating food sacrificed to idols (eidolothuta) and fornication (2, 14-15). The church at Thyatira is reproved for tolerating a prophetess called Jezebel, who is said to promote fornication and eating food sacrifice…