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(395 words)

Author(s): Wucherpfennig, Ansgar
[German Version] (c. 120–160 ce). In combination with Gnosticism (Gnosis: III, 1), Valentinus responded to new questions that Christianity was asking itself in the 2nd century, as it spread among an educated urban class. Heresiologists (Heresy: II, 2) since Irenaeus of Lyon have treated Valentinus as the founder of a Gnostic school; he is often named alongside Marcion, despite substantial differences in their teaching. But Irenaeus’s refutation was already directed not against Valentinus but against…


(1,084 words)

Author(s): Wucherpfennig, Ansgar
[German Version] designates a group of differing doctrines and schools in ancient heresiological literature. The expression “Valentinians” is first encountered in the writings of Justin Martyr ( Dial. 35.6). According to Irenaeus of Lyon ( Haer. I Prooemium 2), the Valentinians from the school of Ptolemy the Gnostic traced themselves back to the Christian teacher Valentinus. Owing to this internal and external designation, Valentinus became the identification figure of a highly diversified theological orientation from the second ha…