A sect of philosophers who tried to engineer a fusion between the early Christians and the Platonists. The former would not go into the caucus and the combination failed, greatly to the chagrin of the fusion managers.
Christian and non-Christian groups of the second and third centuries. Although there were many types, they all seemed to think that the individual can obtain spiritual liberation from the bodily world of ignorance and illusion through gnosis or insight and identification with the divine. Their ideas challenged the unity of the church because they denied the goodness of creation and the humanity of Jesus Christ.
(GNOS·tics). A series of religious sects predominant in the second and third centuries which derived their principles from combining various Judaic, Chaldean, and Oriental concepts into a philosophy attempting to solve the problems of the origin of the universe and its destiny. The following is a representative list of Gnostic sects: Adamites Elkasaites Naassenes Basalidians Encraties Ophites Cainites Entychites Peratikoi Carpocratians Madeaens Sethites Cerinthians Manicheans Simonians Clementines Marcionites Valentinians Docetists Montanists