Classical Studies Senior Research Colloquium
The Barbarian Doctrine: Reframing Eastern Alienation and the Religion of the Alien God
My senior research paper examines the fascinating world of Gnosticism: who the Gnostics were, what they believed, and how they fit into a complex Mediterranean world of varied peoples and faiths. I argue that Gnosticism was a means by which colonized peoples in the Near East could create a coherent identity in the face of Greco-Roman imperialistic threat. Gnosticism, by incorporating and restructuring elements of Near Eastern goddess worship, emerged as a social and spiritual repudiation of a globalized Mediterranean world.