The 20th and 21st centuries witnessed a revival of interest in the approach to religion known as Gnosticism, as well as major textual finds such as the “Gnostic Gospels” found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. However, despite this increased interest, many people are unaware of the fact that an ancient Gnostic religion has survived down to the present day, as the living practice of a community known as the Mandaeans. Historically located in Iraq and Iran, they are increasingly found scattered in a diaspora that includes the United States. In this talk, Dr. James F. McGrath of Butler University will discuss their history, their texts, their interaction with other religious traditions with which you are probably more familiar, and the challenges to their survival that result from the intolerance they often face in their historic homelands.
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