Spiritual Guides of the Third Century.
A Semiotic Study of the Guide-Disciple Relationship in Christianity, Neoplatonism, Hermetism, and Gnosticism

Valantasis R.

Valantasis seeks to explain the type of spiritual guidance offered in the century that fell between the flowering of second-century philosophical schools and fourth-century monasticism. Through a discussion of texts representative of Christianity, Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism, and Gnosticism, Valantasis argues that the spiritual guides depicted are really literary creations: although the texts claim that the spiritual guidance is mediated through a relationship of persons, the guidance actually comes through the production of the text itself. Underlying Valantasis’s thesis is the view that language forms experience, rather than that ‘experience’ finds expression in language.