Call it part of the Gnostic connection, a long, fine thread of influence connecting contemporary cultural debates with an important struggle in the early Christian movement to define the meaning of Jesus's life and teaching. In that struggle-arguably the most important waged by self-styled correct believers against so-called heretics-orthodox Christians battled Gnostic Christians over their respective interpretations of divinity, human nature, sin, salvation, and other crucial theological and philosophical points. The soldiers of orthodoxy, as we now know, ultimately prevailed, confirming their claim to be the true Christians. But Gnostic principles lived on in isolated communities and, occasionally, sparked Gnostic-like revivals.
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